Can You Help Grant Wishes to Local Kids Like Markella?

Published: Mar. 28, 2019 at 5:35 AM AKDT
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It’s been more than two years since 8-year-old Markella saw what she calls “Rainbow trees” while on her wish trip to Hawaii, but she talks about it so often that you’d think it happened just yesterday.

“For children like Markella, a wish isn’t just a snapshot in time,” said Hannah Moderow, communications and marketing manager at Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington. “A wish is a tangible source of hope that draws a family and the community together.”

Moderow has seen this time and time again throughout her tenure with the organization. “The beauty of a wish is as much about the wish itself, as it is about the long-lasting source of strength after the fact.” She added, “We hear from so many families about how the wish experience helps children fight harder.”

For years, Make-A-Wish has talked anecdotally about the transformative power of a wish, and now a first-of-its-kind study is opening the door to possibilities of medical and financial benefits.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital examined quality of life and health care utilization among patients who received a wish and a control group who did not. The study found patients who were granted a wish were more likely to have fewer unplanned hospital and emergency department visits.

Markella’s disorder is so rare that doctors do not know what her future looks like, but according to her mom, the year following her wish trip was the best medical year of her life. “She got such a boost from the wish,” said Carmen. “She talks about it almost every day.”

“Each year, more than 80 percent of our wishes involve airline travel,” said Moderow. “It’s our single, largest program expense.” Although wishes that involve airline travel are on pause due to COVID-19, Make-A-Wish remains committed to granting those wishes when it’s possible. “Your gift today will help ensure that Make-A-Wish is ready and able to grant wishes at an unprecedented rate when it’s safe again for our wish kids to travel,” said Moderow.

Can you make wishes come true for kids like Markella by donating your unused airline miles?

Donate here: