Wishes, are they worth it?

WishThe Make-A-Wish Foundation has been granting wishes for children with life-threatening diseases since 1980. It was founded after Frank “Bopsy” Salazar has his wish granted of becoming a fireman. Each wish is special in its own way but they all contain similarities with four groups that each wish falls into. The first group is, I wish to go, to be, to meet or to have. The latest wish granted was that of 5-year old Miles Scott who is currently in remission from Leukemia. His wish? To be Batman for the day. While wishes are normally carried out by volunteers, the amount that showed up for Miles was amazing, becoming the hugest story since Make-A-Wish started. Having a foundation carry out such exciting wishes for these children is amazing and some families have reported their children happier after their wishes have been fulfilled. I think that by allowing these children to be granted such amazing dreams may seem unfair to other children but these sick children don’t have the life expectancy of an average child. By allowing them to have a wish, it shows them that they too can have fun like other “normal” children.

In the Miles Scott case, many spectators were in the streets cheering him on as he went about the city, saving a woman who was tied to the railroad tracks, catching the Riddler and the Penguin. After fighting crime with his very own Batmobile, he was awarded the key to the city, which of course was made out of chocolate. Thanks to social media and the use of hash tagging, Batkid’s story took the internet by storm in a matter of minutes with people tagging #SFBatkid and posting to Twitter and Facebook. Different news media sites and channels covered this story which gave their take on the whole ordeal. Since the foundation has started, Miles’ wish has become the second biggest wish well known, of course the first being that of Bopsy who inspired the foundation to start after he was diagnosed with Leukemia as well. His dream? To become a firefighter and with the help of “Fireman Bob” known to everyone else as Bob Walp, that wish was able to come true.

Bopsy at first couldn’t decide what he wanted, he went from wanting to ride in a hot air balloon to going to Disneyland and then finally landing on becoming a fireman. In a similar but earlier story, Frank Shankwitz and Jim Eaves were DPS officers that had recently granted a wish for Chris Pauling about wanting to become an officer. When Shankwitz and Linda Pauling heard about Bopsy they showed right up. Shankwitz had asked Bopsy what he had wished for and he helped grant all three of his wishes. Through Bopsy’s story and him being able to go to Disneyland, it created the relationship Disney and the Make-A-Wish Foundation have today.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation has been granting wishes for many children from the ages between 2-18 years old. The organization has 62 chapters that is located throughout the county and they operate in 47 countries. Although the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes that do cost a lot of money, sadly they too have rules about who is eligible and qualified for a wish.

Having a strict age limit on the child is understandable but to what extent are their doctors able to judge whether a child’s illness is severe enough that they should get a wish? Also said child cannot have been granted a wish from another organization similar to that of the Make-A-Wish foundation. Having these restrictions are understandable but it makes people wonder if this organization is really granting a child’s wish for them. While this foundation does have its restrictions on how they determine which child is eligible to be granted a wish, they work off of donations and charities. Of course, that means limited money and resources to be able to grant wishes to children. That doesn’t stop others from helping. Whether it be George Farrow III creating a haunted house each year and asking for donations to be able to witness the horror to celebrities who team up with well known department stores to promote an item in which its profits go to help the Make-A-Wish foundation. Of course you can’t leave out the gamers who are able to make in-game purchases in which a portion goes to the foundation as well. Cities also hold events and for the Make-A-Wish chapter within their city, creating more of an outcome because it’s for their community and children within them.

In today’s culture the Make-A-Wish has appeared as variations in T.V. Shows such as South Park and Family Guy but although no wish in the organizations in it’s history has come close to Batkid, what the foundation does is amazing for children. While the foundation has made its way into pop culture, these shows over-do how the organization works and try to take advantage of it. Even if pop culture might have some what tarnished their reputation, it doesn’t change all the good they have done so far. One girls wish was also recently granted, Caitlin Stewart wanted to meet Josh Hutcherson. Caitlin suffered from Osteosarcoma which is an aggressive form of bone cancer. Now in remission she tells her story of how the Catching Fire star’s cardboard cutout helped her through her treatments. While this story may seem like a huge wish there are those that may seem small but mean the world to those children. Another child,  Alfredo Reyes, now 19-years-old with Ewing’s Sarcoma a bone and soft tissue cancer, wished to have a “yellow bass guitar made by Jimmy Coppolo”. Wishes such as these may seem small but this is what Alfredo was  interested in and something that meant so much to him, it doesn’t always matter on how much the wish will cost to be granted but just that it brings unbelievable happiness to those children.

On my recent trip to Florida, I was in the Harry Potter extension of the theme park and I was able to witness a wish being granted for two young girls. It truly was an amazing experience to see the smile on those girls faces by being able to get their wands just like in the movie. After witnessing something simple as a smile on a child’s face, made me believe in what this organization stands for. While my own beliefs are that it is unfair that only children with life-threatening diseases are eligible for a wish, there are healthy children who aren’t as privileged either who would like to go to Disney World.

Batkid was the biggest wish that has been granted to this date and with over 12,000 volunteers wanting to help and be apart of making Miles Scott’s day special. Supporters were even dressed up as superheroes to help support Miles on his mission to save the city. The coverage on this entire story was amazing and so were all the people involved with making Miles Scott’s wish come true. Having so many people want to help this young boy is proof that there still are good people out there and they just want to help make his life special. Actors, professional sports players, news anchors and even President Obama all chimed in with their support for Miles and his saving of Gotham City as Batkid. With Miles story, the Make-A-Wish foundation said that the amount of hits that they have gotten on their site is crazy and so many people are contacting them to donate or help volunteer with wishes. While wishes come in many different sizes, the fact is that these wishes are for children who deal with so much with their illnesses and creating that moment of happiness for them is what this foundation is all about.

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6 Responses to “Wishes, are they worth it?”

  1. The Make a Wish Foundation is absolutely wonderful, weather there are restrictions on eligibility or not. I hope that Little Batman is not the last headline that Make a Wish makes. The foundation really promotes the idea that the sky is the limit for children. May the children’s happiness fuel the foundation and the volunteers that support it forever.

  2. This truly is an amazing story. I remember seeing this on ESPN and it looked exactly like a real movie. A script was written and lots of people volunteered. The Make-a-Wish Foundation wanted this day to be special, something this kid would never forget. There was definitely a lot of money put into this child’s wish, which is great to hear. It shows how much people really cared. Although, it does seem wrong that a child needs to have a life-threatening condition for a wish to be granted. That is unfair to children who are healthy. Every child deserves to be happy. Maybe the Make-a-wish foundation could have a selection process for this group of children too.

  3. I agree that the Make-A-Wish foundation provides something intangible to these sick children, a chance to make one of their wishes come true. Although there may be other children that should have the opportunity to get their wishes granted, they still have their whole lives ahead of them. They have the gift of life and they can turn their own dreams into reality, while the sick children will never get that opportunity.

  4. I think it is so important for children with certain diseases or illnesses to be able to feel normal. I do think that the whole batman thing is really cool. I also think it is a little unfair that he got to have this grand wish come true when maybe other children who have smaller wishes do not always get granted what they wanted. I do think what Bopsy is doing is so great though. I love that this organization gives at least a certain group of children an opportunity to live out what he or she wanted before he or she passes away. But I do think that every child deserves to be happy. It’s a hard situation to debate when it comes to who should or should not be granted wishes and how they will be funded. I volunteer all the time for organizations similar to this and it is no joke when they say that it really changes a child’s life.

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