My hero is not a person, but a group of people who started something great. The Make-A-Wish Foundation International was created by a group of people in memory of a boy who died of leukemia. His name was Chris Greicius, and all he wanted was to be a policeman. His mother, several friends, and a group of police officers, with the cooperation of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, DPS, granted his wish with a custom-made uniform, helmet, badge, and helicopter ride. (For Chris' complete wish story, click on the link below.) When Chris died, two police officers Scott Stahl, a DPS officer, and Frank Shankwitz, went to his funeral. They thought that if one boy's wish could be granted, maybe the same could be done for other childern. That is how the idea for Make-A-Wish Foundation was started.|
Make-A-Wish Foundation International began in 1980, in the USA, when it fulfilled Chris Greicius' wish. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is now the largest wish-granting organizaton in the world, and can be found in more than 30 countries, including: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Macau, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States. Since it started, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has granted more than 144,000 wishes around the world. Its mission is to create hope and happiness by granting the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses around the world.
Children who are at least three years old, but not have not reached their 18th birthday, are eligible for a wish. The child's physician can determine if the child is medically eligible for a wish, based on the medical criteria established by the foundation. The Make-A-Wish Foundation gets the money to grant all the wishes from a number of sources. Contributions come from individuals, corporations, and both private and foundation grants.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada was first started in British Colombia, in 1983, by Nigel Brown and Robb Lucy. The first wish ever granted in Canada was to a 13 year old girl named Debbie. Foundation chapters are located in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, London, Tronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax. The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of India was started by Geeta and Uday Joshi, parents of Gandhar. Gandar was a ten year boy who died from leukemia, but before he died, a social worker from Make-A-Wish Foundation visted them and helped grant Gandar's wish of going to Disneyland. "We always cherish the happy moments we shared with him," said Geeta. Geeta and Uday got permission to start a Make-A-Wish in India. The objective of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of India is to provide the child and family with special memories of joy and laughter during a stressful time.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Australia was started in 1985. Its goal is to bring magic and joy to children and young people with a life-threatening illness, by granting their most cherished wishes.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Zealand was started in 1987. The first wish it granted was to a four-year boy named Chris with leukemia. Chris wanted to have Christmas in October.