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Wish Impact & Facts

Dr. Patel Wish Impact Study

We’ve known anecdotally about the transformational power of a wish, and now a first-of-its-kind study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) is opening the door to possibilities of medical and financial benefits.

A team of researchers, led by Anup Patel, MD, director of the Complex Epilepsy Clinic at NCH, examined quality of life and health care utilization among patients who received a wish and a control group who did not. The study found patients who were granted a wish were more likely to have fewer unplanned hospital and emergency department visits.

Watch the video below to hear Dr. Patel talk about the true power of a wish and learn more about the study here.


Darrien, 7, neurofibromatosis<br>"I wish to be a policeman."

Darrien, 7, neurofibromatosis<br>"I wish to be a policeman."

General Wish Facts

  • Make-A-Wish grants a wish, on average, every 34 minutes.
  • Every wish experience is driven by the wish kid’s interests, creativity and personality.
  • Make-A-Wish granted more than 15,600 wishes in fiscal year 2016 alone.
  • To qualify for a wish, a child with a critical illness must be older than 2½ years and younger than 18 (at the time of referral) and must not have received a wish from another wish-granting organization.
  • A child can be referred by a parent or guardian, a medical professional, or by the child.
  • Following referral, a certified medical professional must verify that the child has a critical illness. There are no other qualifications based on sex, race, religion, socioeconomic status or any other demographic category.
  • Make-A-Wish chapters serve every community in the United States and its territories.
  • Make-A-Wish has more than 40,000 active volunteers in the United States.
  • Make-A-Wish needs 3 billion frequent flier miles to meet all the travel need for wish kids and their families.
  • More than 75 percent of wish experiences involve travel.
  • The Walt Disney Company is involved in approximately half of the wishes Make-A-Wish grants.
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