Make-A-Wish ® Colorado Helps Wishes Take Flight for Critically Ill Children
With a goal to grant wishes as quickly as possible, Make-A-Wish Colorado celebrates dreams come true for 350 children across the state
While the COVID pandemic presented challenges for Make-A-Wish® Colorado, it didn’t stop wishes from being granted. During the past two years, Make-A-Wish (MAW) made dreams come true for more than 350 children across the state who are battling critical illnesses. During this time, many wishes were granted closer to home including room renovations, background playsets, campers, shopping sprees and even a custom-built firetruck. Each wish has the potential to be life-saving – replacing fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope. Scott Dishong, president and CEO of MAW Colorado, says granting these wishes has been uplifting for the staff and volunteers, as well as the wish kids. “It’s an amazing experience to witness a kid’s delight when their wish is granted. There’s a huge sense of joy for everyone involved,” reports Dishong.
For nearly 40 years, Make-A-Wish Colorado has been granting wishes that help transform the lives of critically ill children throughout the state. Each wish is unique to the child, who is encouraged to use his or her imagination to formulate his or her “one true wish.” Wishes fall into five categories: I wish to go, I wish to be, I wish to meet, I wish to have and I wish to give. Historically, most wishes have fallen into the “I wish to go” category, allowing wish kids to get away from doctors and hospitals and enjoy new experiences and time with their families.
During the first six months of 2022, more than 50 wish kids embarked on the journey of a lifetime. Among those who received travel wishes were 12-year-old Ben who has cancer and wished to visit Hawaii, 14-year-old Adolfo who has congenital heart disease and wanted to experience all that Walt Disney World has to offer and 18-year-old Talia who has congenital heart disease and enjoyed an adventure in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Nearly 300 wish kids are eagerly waiting for travel wishes. With the majority of travel restrictions related to the pandemic lifted, Make-A-Wish Colorado is working hard to grant these wishes as quickly as possible. Rising prices have placed a burden on the nonprofit as airfares to many popular destinations are now double or triple what they were in 2019.
The public can help make these wishes take flight by donating airline miles to Make-A-Wish Colorado. Simply go to wish.org/colorado/airline-miles and click on the link at the bottom of the page. You can then select the airline and the number of miles or points you wish to donate and enter your airline account information. Once donated, the miles never expire and are guaranteed to bring joy to a Colorado child battling a critical illness.
Dishong says, “Our goal is to grant these children’s wishes as quickly as possible because research shows that a wish encourages a child to fight for, and look forward to, the future, especially when they are going through treatment. Having airline miles at the ready will allow us to fulfill the wishes of every child waiting even more quickly.”