The inspirational wish granting story that brought about the creation of Make A Wish Foundation goes back to 1980 when a very sick little boy hoped that one day he could become a police officer. Today, these children are often affectionately called wish kids and this organization has since become the largest of its kind in the world, granting a child’s wish in the USA and its territories every 40 minutes. Truly amazing!

Make A Wish and blow out the candles!

Many children are able to overcome a life-threatening medical condition and go on to celebrate more birthdays, just like this little girl

The purpose is to give hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions and although it’s commonly believed that all the kids it helps have a terminal illness, that is not so. Many of them later go on to become healthy adults and it is the wish experience that helped provide them with a source of strength so they could look forward to a productive future. Hope is a powerful healer! And it is our wish to give many wishes to these needy children!


Christopher James Greicius always knew he wanted to become a police officer but there was something standing in the way of this seven-year-old…he was being treated for leukemia.

The touching story of Chris Greicius lead to the founding of Make A Wish Foundation

Chris Greicius was the inspiration behind Make A Wish Foundation

One day, Tommy Austin, a family friend, who happened to be a US Customs Officer, promised little Chris a ride in a police helicopter. When the boy’s condition worsened, Austin contacted Ron Cox, an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer, and together they made a plan…a wish granting plan.

On April 29, 1980, Chris got a helicopter tour of the city and was then flown to DPS headquarters. There he was met by three cruisers and a motorcycle officer and then sworn in as the first honorary patrolman in the state’s history. But that’s not all.

Cox arranged for John’s Uniforms to make Chris a uniform in just 24 hours. On May 1, officers kitted him out and then organized a motorcycle proficiency test so he could earn wings to pin on his uniform. Needless to say, he passed with flying colors on his battery-operated motorcycle!

Chris’ wished to become a police officer and he earned his wings on a battery-operated motorcycle!

The first wish granting plan enabled Chris Greicus become a police officer
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On May 2, however, Chris was back in the hospital but had his uniform and motorcycle helmet placed in the room where he could see it. That day, DPS motor officer, Frank Shankwitz, presented him with his wings, a moment which brought a huge smile to Chris’ face.

Sadly, Chris passed away the next day but it is comforting to know how much joy he experienced by having his dream come true! And this is the inspirational story that gave rise to the charity known all over the world as the Make A Wish Foundation.


Wish granting under this program is made available to children between 2½ and 18 years of age who have been diagnosed with a progressive, degenerative or malignant condition that has place the child’s life at risk. A Make A Wish team then learns first hand what the child’s one true wish is and takes on the task of creating an unforgettable experience that will not only enrich the life of that child, but also that of their family and even an entire community.


To read about other highly informative topics directly related to the goals of the Make A Wish Foundation, please choose from the links below.

Leukemia in Children

Celebrities Make Wishes Come True For Make A Wish Kids

Return to Home page from Wish Granting Is What They Do

“Stars Bring Light” glass pendant to benefit Make-a-Wish.

“Stars Bring Light” glass star pendant, one of our gifts that inspire
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Centered triangle pendant benefits Make-A-Wish, shown on a silver chain.

“Stars Bring Hope” glass pendant to benefit Make-a-Wish.

Off-center triangle pendant will benefit Make-a-Wish, hangs from a silver chain.

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KidsHealth is a highly respected web site about children’s health and parenting developed by The Nemours Foundation, one of the largest nonprofit organizations of its kind. We believe that the educational content of the online, print and video programs are of great value especially for parents of a child with a life-threatening medical condition.

The wide range of topics includes dealing with the emotional needs of sick children, their parents, and their siblings, and the different ways kids communicate their feelings non-verbally. How parents can get support and find ways to lighten the load at stressful times like these are discussed in the many helpful articles at http://kidshealth.org/parent/system/ill/seriously_ill.html#.