Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island

Philanthropist | 2017

Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

The joy began in 1987, when Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island fulfilled its first wish: a family trip to York Beach, ME, for eight-year-old Colleen. Thirty years later, thousands of children in Massachusetts and Rhode Island have experienced the life-changing joy of a wish fulfilled.

A life-threatening diagnosis interrupts childhood. A wish restores a sense of control and possibility, and courage to persevere. It provides hope and inspiration during the profound challenges of treatment. And, most importantly, a wish provides joy. Joy that guides children through the hardest of days and reminds them that they are not alone.

Over 40 percent of wishes granted by Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island are for pediatric oncology patients, and the organization has had the privilege of fulfilling wishes for nearly 150 patients receiving cancer treatment at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC). Recently fulfilled wishes for Mass General patients include Gregory, 18, golfing at the illustrious Pebble Beach; Zuehailey, 9, receiving a Yorkie Poo puppy; and Lola, 4, meeting Princess Elsa at Walt Disney World® Resort.

These are just a few of the wishes observed by Elyse Levin-Russman, LICSW, MSW, a clinical social worker in the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Unit at MGHfC. “Make-A-Wish creates magical experiences for children,” she says. “It is not simply that they give them something or send them somewhere. The way they do it is just remarkable.”

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