Wish FAQ

What is a wish?

A wish is a child’s personal, heartfelt answer to the question: “If you could go anywhere, meet anyone, have or be anything, what would you choose? Wishes are wonderful experiences granted to children with life threatening medical conditions. Not only is the wish a magical interlude in a difficult and often frightening time, but it is also a factor in increasing a child’s sense of empowerment.

Children are energized by a wish by imagining it, describing it, planning and anticipating it. Families share with us that a wish can encourage a child to see a future to fight for, and then to fight on, often against tremendous odds.  A wish gives courage and hope.

How many wishes are granted?

Each year, Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon grants aproximately 100 wishes.  We also host additional wishes (Wish Assists) for children from other Chapters around the world for a special wish experience.

How old must a child be to have a wish granted?

To be eligible for a wish, a child must be between 3 and 17 years of age. 

Which children are eligible?

Children who have been diagnosed by their physician as having a medical condition that is life-threatening, and who are between 3 and 17 years of age, are eligible for a wish. More detailed guidelines on eligibility are provided to medical professionals on request.  Make-A-Wish grants wishes regardless of race, religion, or socioeconomic status.  No eligible child has ever been denied a wish.

Are there any restrictions on wishes?

Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon tries to ensure that a wish is age appropriate and the child’s own heartfelt desire, expressed in his or her own words.  We discourage wishes that appear to be initiated by a need of the family or a need for medical treatment, rather than the spontaneous, joyful impulse of the child. Serious safety concerns may also prevent us from granting certain wishes.

Is a child who has already received a wish from another wish-granting organization eligible to receive a wish from Make-A-Wish?

No. A child who has received a wish from another organization is not eligible for a wish from Make-A-Wish.

Does a family have to meet financial criteria to be eligible to receive a wish?

No. Economic background has no affect on the eligibility of a child for a wish.

Will accepting a wish mean we’ve given up hope for our child’s recovery?

Make-A-Wish grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.  We see the process of making a wish as a life-affirming experience and full of hope.  Families share with us that a wish can encourage a child to fight for a future, often against tremendous odds, when courage and hope are flagging.  Our wish children who are now adults would attest to this!

Will the privacy of our family life be threatened by media coverage?

Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon always requests permission from a family before seeking any publicity.  A family has the right to deny publicity at any time.  Make-A-Wish will always protect the privacy of children and their families.

What if a family does not want publicity?

Publicity will never be sought without permission, and a family may decline publicity at any time.  Saying no to publicity will not in any way affect the child’s wish.

We can afford to pay for a wish ourselves. If we accept this wish, will this be unfair to other families?

All medically qualified children are eligible for a wish, regardless of family income.  Even if a family can afford to fund the wish themselves, we seek to bring elements of surprise, magic and fun to the wish experience that many families could not achieve because of the daily stresses and emotional trauma of having a seriously ill child.  We have never had to turn a wish down because of a lack of funds and take pride in fulfilling a wish for every eligible child in BC & Yukon, regardless of race, creed, or economic status.