Legerski: Make-A-Wish Wyoming is celebrating a major milestone this month—the granting of the 500th wish of a Wyoming child.
From the Casper Star-Tribune
We have granted many unique wishes over the years, from wishes to meet Kool and the Gang and Garth Brooks to wanting a hairless cat with a jetpack or to become a member of the Colorado Rockies. While wishes have varied over time, our mission has not: We continue to grant the wishes of children battling life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
What happens when a child is diagnosed with cancer? What happens when a parent is told their child needs a heart transplant?
In an instant, their lives are turned upside down. Suddenly, a child’s entire world is reduced to four hospital walls. They’re not allowed to play on the playground or go to sleepovers. Setting foot outside their home or hospital room could be detrimental to their health. Every conversation is now about treatments, medicine, chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. With no children’s hospital in Wyoming, oftentimes one parent must spend months in Denver or Salt Lake with their child while the other parent stays home with siblings.
An illness can steal a childhood, but a wish can give part of it back.
In the last 30 years, 500 Wyoming children have experienced the magic and power of having their one true wish granted. We have found the anticipation of a wish can positively impact a child almost as significantly as the actual granting of the wish. For many of our children, it is the first time in a while they have something to look forward to, something to dream about.
Because of those who believe in our mission we are able to meet with children all around Wyoming who are going through something most of us could never imagine. We are able to ask them one question, “If you could have one wish, what would it be?”
Not one of these 500 wishes have been possible without generous supporters who have given their time, their dollars or their talents to help grant wishes. It has taken a dedicated network of people to make reaching this milestone possible. Since 1985, we have worked with 408 referral sources, 136 volunteers, 8,516 donors, 19 staff members and 104 board members in the pursuit of making dreams come true.
To everyone who has supported Make-A-Wish Wyoming in the last 30 years – thank you. Your time, resources and heart are what drives our mission and makes granting wishes possible. We simply could not do it without you.
Someday, we hope Make-A-Wish doesn’t need to exist. We hope children the world over will never suffer from a life-threatening illness. Until that time, we will continue to work to bring those kids hope and joy at a time they need it most.
Morgan Legerski is CEO of Make-A-Wish Wyoming in Casper. For more information or to refer a child, visit www.wyoming.wish.org or call 307-234-9474.