According to the results of a 2011 Wish Impact Study that surveyed former wish kids, wish parents, wish-granting volunteers, and involved medical professionals, a wish come true empowers children with life-threatening medical conditions to fight harder against their illnesses. When they are granted a wish, they get more than just a great experience for a day, two days, or a week. That experience improves the quality of life for them and their entire family.
Looking back years after their wish experiences, adult former wish kids tell us that the experience served as a turning point in their battle for health, a means of returning their focus on the future, shaping their lives as adults and even helping to save their lives. Their parents tell us that the wish experience pulled their families back together again, gave their sick kids renewed energy and a better state of mind to fight their illnesses or conditions, and brought a sense of normalcy back to their homes. And medical professionals treating our wish kids – physicians, nurses, social workers and child-life specialists – say the wish experience makes for better patients by easing kids’ fears and increasing their willingness to comply with tough treatment protocols, all of which can influence their physical health.
Improved Heath Status
Adult former wish kids, wish parents and attending health professionals agree that a wish experience has the following impact on wish kids’ health status:
83 percent of adult former wish kids say they experienced improved physical health and strength.*
Enhanced State of Mind
- The wish experience can improve a wish kid’s physical health.
- A wish come true can mark a positive turning point in the child’s battle for health.
- A wish come true makes kids feel stronger and more energetic.
- The wish experience helps them comply with difficult, but vital, treatment regimens.
- In addition, a strong majority of adult former wish kids say that the wish experience helped to save their lives.
99 percent of parents reported that the wish experience gave their children increased feelings of happiness.*
- Wish kids and their parents alike experience more happiness and less fear in their lives.
- Wish kids are less isolated from friends, and feel a return of self-confidence that comes with feeling “normal” again.
- The wish experience gives them a “can-do” attitude, and inspires many of them to take up challenges they had thought were not possible.
- They are empowered to take back control of their lives, and to keep up the fight against their life-threatening medical conditions.
- Parents say their family units – often strained to the limit by stresses of the illnesses – are repaired and strengthened through the shared experience of the wish process.
95 percent of community volunteers reported an increased sense of compassion.*
- Volunteers feel an increased sense of compassion and desire to help others in their community.
- They feel a renewed faith in humanity.
- They trust others more and feel more optimistic about the future.
- Volunteers and adult former wish kids alike feel a greater long-term commitment to philanthropy.
- Adult former wish kids, wanting to “pay forward” the positive experiences they received in their wishes, say they are choosing careers that empower them to help others.
* “Wish Impact Study Results” (consolidated results), July 29, 2013.