Make-A-Wish® Arizona has a simple mission: Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We grant wishes for children in Arizona thanks to support from thousands of Arizona volunteers, donors, and supporters, even our wish kids and their families. In fact, studies have shown that the impact of a wish lasts long after the wish experience is completed – with 90 percent of our wish kids sharing that their wish boosted their self-esteem and gave them hope for the future.
In 1980, a 7-year-old boy named Chris fighting leukemia wished to be a police officer. Almost 100 people in Arizona came together to create an experience that allowed Chris to forget his doctors and treatments and focus on the strength and happiness he found as his wish came true. On his wish day, Chris donned his officer uniform, rode in a helicopter and even gave out tickets – he believed he was a police officer. And even though he lost his battle with leukemia a few days later, Chris’ wish inspired those who had helped to make his day a reality. Today, Make-A-Wish has expanded beyond Arizona to include 60 chapters covering all 50 states and more than 30 chapters internationally.
Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We believe a wish experience can be a game changer for a child when they need it most. Each wish is personalized and customized to the child’s imagination. Wishes are 100 percent paid for thanks to direct donations, sponsorships, corporate giving and in-kind donations of goods and services – our wish kids and families get to enjoy the wish experience with no additional burden. We are inspired every day to make our donated resources go as far as possible as we work toward our vision of granting the wish of every eligible child in Arizona.
As the founding chapter of Make-A-Wish, Make-A-Wish Arizona is honored to continue the legacy of Chris and the six individuals who came together to grant wishes in his honor.
Wishes are more than just a nice thing. They are more than gifts or events in time. Wishes impact everyone involved—wish kids, volunteers, donors, sponsors, medical professionals and communities. For wish kids, just the act of making their wish come true can give them the courage to comply with their medical treatments and to think of futures beyond the hospital bed. Parents finally feel like they can be optimistic as they see their children focus on happiness instead of fear. Our community of giving shows everyone that together, we can bring kids strength and joy.