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Hawaii wish comes true for Fort Lauderdale child


March 09, 2012

FORT LAUDERDALE – Jessica, 12, of Fort Lauderdale lives with a life-threatening medical condition.  When presented with an opportunity for a wish, she chose to visit Hawaii.  Jessica’s wish came true, courtesy of UnitedHealthcare and the Make-A-Wish®.

UnitedHealthcare sponsored Jessica’s wish through its national alliance with Make-A-Wish America to support the organization and its mission of granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

As part of a renewed three-year, $3 million alliance, each of Make-A-Wish's 62 chapters is eligible to receive wish-granting funds.  UnitedHealth Group has funded more than 1,250 wishes beginning with its initial three-year, $4.5 million alliance in 2007.

Jessica and her family will travel to the island of Oahu for a one-week vacation.  She told her wish granters that she looks forward to attending an authentic luau, snorkeling and going on a sunset dinner cruise.  Jessica will also swim with the dolphins.

“We are very happy to see that UnitedHealthcare’s national alliance with Make-A-Wish is able to provide Jessica with her trip to Hawaii,” said Nick Zaffiris, Regional CEO of UnitedHealthcare.  “As a health and well-being company, we work every day to make a difference in our communities, and we are honored to be a part of this wish.”

“We are so appreciative of the support of UnitedHealthcare,” said Norm Wedderburn, the President/CEO of the Southern Florida chapter.  “Our partnership is a great example of how companies can work together to have a profound impact on their community.” 

UnitedHealth Group employees and the dollar-for-dollar company match have donated more than $2.8 million to Make-A-Wish through its annual United Giving Campaign.

About Make-A-Wish
Each year, Make-A-Wish Southern Florida ( fulfills the wishes of more than 500 children in 13 South Florida counties and the US Virgin Islands.  With $5,000 being the average cost of a wish, the nonprofit organization relies on fundraisers, corporate support, and donations from the public to bring hope, strength, and joy to families who need it most.  To learn more, refer a child, volunteer or make a donation, call (888) 773-9474.   

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers.  The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide.  UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. 

Press Contact

Richard Kelly
Chief Operating Officer
4491 S State Road 7 Suite 201
Ft. Lauderdale, FL  33314

Phone : (954) 967-9474 x307
Fax : (954) 987-7159

Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, Inc.
4491 S State Road 7
Suite 201
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314
(954) 967-9474
Toll Free (888) 773-9474
Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, Southwest Florida Regional Office
3655 Bonita Beach Road
Suite 3
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
(239) 992-9474

Make-A-Wish® U.S. Virgin Islands
PMB 547
8168 Crown Bay Marina Ste 505
St Thomas, VI 00802-5819
(340) 474-0798

Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, Tampa Bay Regional Office
324 North Dale Mabry Hwy
Suite 203
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 288-2600

Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, Suncoast Regional Office
3430 Magic Oak Lane
Sarasota, FL 34232
(941) 378-9474