A 2015 study* on the effects of granting wishes on children with critical illnesses revealed wishes not only increased children's hope, they were often a key way to improve children's quality of life. The wishes allowed children to think beyond the limitations of their illness. "It is possible that wishing enabled children to dream about what seem unobtainable, out of reach, and thus created an experience of achieving the impossible," researchers wrote.
The objective of this video was to demonstrate the transformational power of a wish and its proven medical impact. Research shows, and the physicians featured in this video agree, that a wish can help improve a child's quality of life and produce better health outcomes. These life-changing wishes replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope for children battling critical illnesses. In fact, health professionals say the wish experience is an integral part of their medical treatment plan.
At Make-A-Wish, our vision is to grant every eligible child's wish and to ensure each kid has a transformative wish experience that has a lasting, positive impact on their life. Whether it's a wish to have a puppy, see snow or be a police officer, each wish we grant at Make-A-Wish is as unique as each child. Yet, one thing remains consistent –the undeniable power wishes have on a child's emotional and physical health.
*Shoshani, A. Mifano, K. Czamanski-Cohen, J. (2015). The effects of the Make-A-Wish intervention on psychiatric symptoms and health-related quality of life of children with cancer: a randomized controlled trial. Quality of Life Research, 25(5), 1209-1218. doi 10.1007/s11136-015-1148-7
The strategy behind this video was to share the stories of physicians who treat children with critical illnesses and the life-changing impact of a wish experience on not only the child and family, but on the physicians and medical professionals that treat and refer wish kids themselves.
By having these medical professionals share that a wish is a necessary part of a child's medical treatment plan, other doctors may be encouraged to refer their patients to Make-A-Wish. Additionally, people will be compelled to volunteer and support Make-A-Wish because of the life-changing impact wishes have on patients, families and communities.
Wishes not only transform the lives of wish kids, they unite families and strengthen communities. Families, who are often strained to the limit by stresses of their child's illness, are repaired and strengthened through the shared experience of the wish process. When volunteers help grant wishes, they report feeling an increased sense of compassion and desire to help others and a greater faith in humanity. That's the transformative power of wishes.
Tens of thousands of volunteers, donors and supporters advance the Make-A-Wish vision to grant the wish of every eligible child diagnosed with a critical illness. In the United States and its territories, on average, a wish is granted every 34 minutes. We believe a wish experience can be a game-changer. This one belief guides us and inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve.
"The Transformative Power of Wishes" video is a powerful tool for our 60 chapters, as they build and strengthen our referral network of medical professionals across the country. Currently, we are only reaching half of the children who are eligible for a wish.
This video, which has more than 8,600 views on YouTube (through date of this submission) helps us get closer to achieving our vision of granting the wish of every eligible child by increasing wish referrals and donations. These medical professionals are experts in their fields and help reinforce that wishes are not just nice, they are necessary.
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