Wishing Star Brings Relief from Everyday Medical Stresses

We can sometimes forget how easy many of us have it. Our worries may revolve around buying a new pair of running shoes, getting to work on time, finding the perfect birthday present for a friend, or whether your child will get good grades this quarter.lacey2

But imagine if your worries included the dilemma of whether to pay your mortgage or a huge hospital bill for your child’s chemotherapy. Or getting to a doctor’s appointment on time, finding the perfect wheelchair that fits in your car, or whether your child will get good results on his next blood test. Your life would be a lot more chaotic and tense, which is why Wishing Star brings relief from everyday medical stresses experienced by families that have a child with a life-threatening condition.

Six-year-oldSanDiegoTrip148_s2 Quinn’s mother and father would love it if they only had to worry about writing out a grocery list. Instead, their lives are consumed with doctor appointments, hospital stays, medication treatments, and blood testing. Quinn suffers from a mitochondrial disorder that gives him a life expectancy of only about 12 years. His parents constantly worry about his health, future, and how much time they’ll have left with their precious son.

Unfortunately, all of this stress hurt Quinn’s siblings and the family as a whole. When Quinn was referred to Wishing Star, his parents were keeping him in a figurative bubble, afraid to do anything that might risk his already-fragile health. All of that changed, however, almost 1,500 miles away on the sunny beaches of Southern California.

Quinn and his family went on a wish trip to San Diego in the summer of 2012. With nothing on their agenda but having fun, the family enjoyed playing on the beach, sightseeing along the coast, riding in a helicopter, and swimming with dolphins. This trip gave the family a break from all of the medical stresses that surrounded them, and Quinn’s parents realized that by placing all of their focus on keeping their son healthy, they had unintentionally hurt their family.

After returning home, Quinn’s parents vowed that their family would make it a priority to haveSea World 3 more fun. They planned weekly family dates with the sole purpose of enjoying each others company. As Quinn’s mother puts it, “I want Quinn’s life to be a celebration, and our job is to love him until it’s time to let him go.”

We know that most people can’t afford to give thousands of dollars to grant a wish; that’s why we’re not asking you to do that. Instead we’re asking you to forgo a latte four times a month, and commit the money you save to Wishing Star. Please become a part of our Circle of Friends monthly giving program and help sick kids (and their families) get relief from their medical stresses.

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The Journey of a Wish

Some people may wonder what exactly Wishing Star does and why we do it. In the weeks ahead, we will be posting five blogs answering these questions and providing real examples of our Wishing Star grantees.

Over the coming weeks, you’ll learn how Wishing Star:

• provides relief from everyday medical stresses,
• inspires hope for the future,
• offers a sense of community,
• improves the quality of life, and
• brings hope for fighting life-threatening illnesses.

Stay tuned, and thank you for supporting Wishing Star!



When you think of a wish, what first pops into your head? Maybe Barbara Eden in her harem costume, the opening credits of “Pinocchio,” or candles burning on a birthday cake. The point of the wish is always the same: When you make a wish, it will immediately come true. But Wishing Star’s wishes can take months or even years to come to fruition.

So, why isn’t wish fulfillment as easy as rubbing a lamp?

Because Wishing Star builds lasting relationships with wish kids and their families and orchestrates the wish over time. In short, a wish experience doesn’t begin when a family hands plane tickets to a gate agent. It starts months before and lasts well beyond that moment. The relationship we develop with wish kids and families while we plan their wish is what makes the Wishing Star experience so special.

wishing-star,sheldon-69When a child is referred to Wishing Star, it might be the first glimmer of hope and excitement that he or she has experienced in a long time. Once a child is added to our wish list, we arrange a visit at her home or hospital. This first meeting is all about getting to know the child and her family, and we ask questions about her dreams and passions. Sometimes a kid knows exactly what he wants, like Sheldon, who wanted to customize his truck. But other young people need some time to think about it. Whatever the situation, we give the child as much time and space as he needs to imagine his perfect wish.

Once a child has described all the details of her perfect wish, our orchestration begins. It can take months to arrange every detail. Then comes the day that the child’s wish is granted, but the experience has just begun. Our motto is “Once a wish family, always a wish family,” and we mean it! We welcome wish kids and their families at all of our “Beyond the Wish” events, stay in touch with annual birthday cards, and connect them with others we have served.
It’s true that we can’t grant a wish immediately, but we think it’s better this way. Would tossing a coin in a fountain result in a lifetime of friendship and support?

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“I wish to become a nurse…”

In June 1985, sweet 5-year old Jennifer was granted her wish to become a nurse. Having battled Cystic Fibrosis since birth, Jennifer grew up to admire the nurses who loved and took care of her everyday of her life. A volunteer hand-made Jennifer’s nurses outfit for her big day- a local nurse donated her own nurse’s cap for Jennifer to wear. An official “Capping ceremony” was held at a local college where Jennifer was given a bouquet of red roses and her very first patient to take care of- a teddy bear with a bandaged leg. Her mom, Carolyn, recently reached out to us and shared more about the impact Jennifer’s wish had on her young life. “From that day on she was “Nurse Jennifer- Pediatric Hostess”. It was her “job” to go and visit the new kids and show them around. She had a little red wagon in her room with her toys and she would take her wagon around and let the other kids have one of her toys. The nurses saw what she was doing and made sure that there were always toys in her wagon. Her doctor would call her at the hospital and ask her if she could do rounds with him and she would put on her nurses uniform and go with him as he checked on his young patients… Wishing Star made such a difference in her life. It is amazing where Wishing Star has gone since that day. Thank you!!!”. Young Jennifer passed away in 1987, just 2 years after her wish was granted. What an amazing impact she had in this world!