How do I make a wish referral?
Healthcare providers may contact Joanie Johnston at (916) 437-0206, ext. 204 or email@example.com for a copy of our medical guidelines to determine a child’s eligibility.
If you believe a child may qualify for our services, please call us. We will be happy to take the referral over the phone or you may ask us to send you a copy of our referral form. Feel free to copy this form and keep the copies on file for all future referrals. You may then fax your referrals to our offices.
Who can make a wish referral?
Many wish referrals are initiated by healthcare professionals. A parent or guardian or the child who is ill may also make the referral. Please speak with the family prior to making the referral to ensure the parent’s give permission to submit their child’s name for our program. In all cases, the child’s own physician is contacted to affirm the medical appropriateness of the referral.
What children are eligible?
Children who have been diagnosed by their physician as having an illness that is life-threatening and who are between 2½ and under the age of 18 years at the time of referral are eligible for a wish. More detailed guidelines on eligibility are provided to medical professionals on request. Make-A-Wish Foundation® grants wishes regardless of race, religion or socioeconomic status.
What if a child cannot communicate their wish?
If a child cannot communicate their wish, we will work closely with the family, as well as healthcare providers, to select a developmentally appropriate wish.
Is a child who has already received a wish from another wish-granting organization eligible to receive a wish from Make-A-Wish Foundation?
No, a child who has received a wish from another wish-granting organization or from another chapter of the Foundation is not eligible for a wish.
Does the family’s financial status matter?
No, economic background does not affect whether a child is eligible for a wish.
Does accepting a wish mean the family has given up hope for their child’s recovery?
We have frequently been described in the media or by word of mouth as granting wishes for children with “terminal” illnesses. However, we grant wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Many people incorrectly believe that we grant wishes only to children who are dying but we see the wish-making process as life-affirming and full of hope. Families tell us that a wish can encourage a child to fight for a future, often against tremendous odds, when courage and hope are fleeting. Our wish children who are now adults can attest to this!
Are some families reluctant to accept a wish because it feels like taking charity?
There are several reasons why a family might hesitate to contact us or accept a wish. For example, a family might feel that they can grant a wish for their child themselves. But we have found that often parents cannot find the psychological and financial resources to carry out complex plans when day-to-day life requires so much from them. This is a time for the family to let someone else “take charge.”
In addition, a wish often requires more than money for its implementation. A desire to meet a personal hero, attend the Super Bowl or be a model for Seventeen Magazine may be something that parents alone cannot facilitate.
What if a family can afford to pay for a wish themselves? If they accept this wish, will this be unfair to other, less fortunate, 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 we take pride in fulfilling a wish for every Sacramento & Northeastern California child, regardless of race, creed or economic status.