A Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center provider, Wish Mom, and Child Life Specialist at UVM, share their referral stories, and what moves them about the potential for a Wish experience.
Words cannot fully describe the uplifting effect that Make-A-Wish has on my patients and their families. Children coping with life-threatening diagnoses see a future of possibilities as they think about their Wish and have moments of respite from their daily struggles as they dream. Once a child has decided upon a Wish, there is a motivation to be in the best health they can to maximally enjoy their Wish. For some, the Wish is a reward for hard work that has been done. For others, the Wish reinforces their ability to experience joy while continuing to undergo difficult medical care. For all involved, the Wish is a reminder that they are loved regardless of their medical limitations.
– Julie Kim, MD, PhD
Several people had spoken to us about referrals for a Wish for our daughter, Addi. At the time, we weren't ready and eventually they stopped asking. As parents, our biggest wish was to find someone who could diagnose and cure Addison's life-threatening disease so that she would no longer qualify for a Wish. Our family went to great lengths, but eventually learned that we needed to accept that her disease would neither have a name or adequate treatment during her life-time. Exhausted from our journey and needing people to come around her passion and determination for life (instead of her disease), we knew she deserved a Wish and we requested a referral from her pediatrician. Without hesitation he referred her. We are glad we waited until the time was right. Her Wish brought her so much happiness and rejuvenated our entire family. When your child's life is expected to be too short, it is comforting and powerful to pack your memory book with big, beautiful memories your family can enjoy together and you can think about when times are hard and then keep when she is gone. If the time is right for your child and your family, don't hesitate to self-refer.
– Wish Mom, Tammy Carroll
One of my favorite parts of my job is being able to hear kids and families talk about their Make-A-Wish experience. I love to see the excitement, hope and wonderful distraction that comes from being able to take part in planning the wish of a lifetime for kids who are experiencing a really challenging medical diagnosis. Make-A-Wish gives families an opportunity for a joyful focus and provides experiences that result in unforgettable memories. Thank you to all those at Make-A-Wish for the wonderful work that you do!
– Christine Prior, LICSW
We rely on wish referrals from caring individuals to help us reach more kids with life-threatening medical conditions every year and grant them a wish that changes lives, forever. Wish referrals can be made by medical professionals (doctors, nurses, social workers), parents or legal guardians of a potential Wish Kid, potential Wish Kids themselves, or family members with knowledge of the child’s current medical condition. Visit http://vermont.wish.org/refer-a-child to read more about referring a child!