Make-A-Wish Hits a Milestone — Its 10,000th Wish Granted to a Critically Ill Child

Make-A-Wish has granted wishes to kids who want “to be a mermaid”

WHEN A CHILD faces critical illness, there’s an absence of unadulterated joy, a hallmark of childhood. Through the Make-A-Wish foundation, sick kids get to be kids living out their wildest dreams. “Simple, beautiful and straightforward,” says Yara Elsayed Guest, the president and CEO of the organization’s Texas Gulf Coast and Louisiana chapter, of its mission. “There’s no reason to add complexity.”


The nonprofit is slated to grant its 10,000th wish this summer. “Each of those kids has a family, friends, schoolmates, medical teams, and communities linked to them,” explains Guest, who notes that a great majority of the children go on to thrive into adulthood. “You can see the impact of these wishes on so many people.”

Take 18-year-old William Miller, who was diagnosed with leukemia at 14 and was granted his wish of going offshore fishing in the Florida Keys last year. “It was such a humbling experience,” says his dad, Jud, who traveled with his son and wife Patricia. “We couldn’t fully understand how much work went into the planning of our trip until we were there, and it was overwhelming to be a part of it. After almost three years of chemotherapy, it was the perfect ending to our cancer journey.”

Guest, who joined the org around the onset of Covid, explains that traveling is one of the top requests. “We had our fair share of challenges easing out of the pandemic,” she explains, noting a current backlog of more than 900 wishes in the system. Despite the circumstances, Guest has promised to double the number of annual wishes by 2025.“People ask if our staff cry all the time, and we do,” she says, “but the vast majority of the tears we cry are tears of joy. We owe it to these kids, who fight in such amazing ways, to bring happiness, joy and confidence. That’s what keeps me going each day.”

William Miller, who wished to go offshore fishing in Florida

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