Make-A-Wish: How It All Started

On April 29, 1980, 7-year-old Chris Greicius’ wish to be a police officer for a day was granted by a group of caring WishMakers in his community. Little did any of them know that his wish would create the movement that is Make-A-Wish, which has granted hundreds of thousands of life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Thank you to Chris’ mother, Linda Pauling, the Greicius family and the Make-A-Wish founders for their continued and tireless dedication to the Make-A-Wish mission.

The Impact of a Wish


of parents believe the wish experience gave their children a better chance of surviving their critical illness 


of wish alumni said the wish helped them overcome feelings of sadness


of medical professionals said the wish experience has a positive impact on a child's physical well-being



WishMakers Make Our Mission Possible

A WishMaker is anyone who takes action for wish kids. Whether by turning your passion into a fundraiser or volunteering your time to participate in a wish, there is a place for you to be a WishMaker.  

Every WishMaker Makes a Difference


wishes granted worldwide


wish-granting volunteers


local chapters serving communities nationwide

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WishMakers Make Wishes Come True

Wish kid Mya meeting a unicorn

During a well-baby appointment, doctors told Mya’s parents, Rebecca and Elias, that something was wrong. Mya was not breathing normally; they learned she may only have 18 months to live. “It was devastating for me, because we thought everything was OK,” Rebecca said. Thanks to a gene therapy program, Mya is now 5 years old and “a bright star,” Elias said. “She brings joy to everybody she meets.”


When Make-A-Wish came into Mya’s life, she made an imaginative request: Mya wished to meet and ride a unicorn whom she would name Clover. “I love unicorns and I wanted to meet one in real life,” Mya said. “Thinking about my wish made me feel calm. It made me feel special-er than anyone.”


Mya’s wish didn’t come true by luck or chance. It came true because a group of caring WishMakers came together to create a life-changing experience that she and her family will remember forever. From the medical partner who referred Mya for a wish, to the owner and barn manager at Mya’s local equestrian center who transformed a white horse into a beautiful multi-colored unicorn, to the volunteers and wish alumni who greeted Mya on her wish day with cheers and support, to the donors who contributed to the costs of bringing Mya’s wish to life, many WishMakers had a hand in giving Mya the kind of joy, strength and hope that only comes with a wish.


“I felt like Mya was on cloud nine in that moment,” Rebecca said. “Every moment that we have with her is priceless. But to see her that happy … for a moment, the illness stops. Mya’s wish has impacted her … her confidence has grown. She knows now that she can do anything.” 


And it’s all because of WishMakers like you.