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Wish Impact & Facts

Wish Facts

Below are some facts about Make-A-Wish® Colorado and the wish experience.

  • Every wish experience is driven by the wish kid’s interests, creativity and personality.
  • To qualify for a wish, a child with a life-threatening medical condition 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 life-threatening medical condition. There are no other qualifications based on sex, race, religion, socioeconomic status or any other demographic category.
  • As an entire organization, Make-A-Wish grants a wish, on average, every 34 minutes and, on average, a child is referred for a wish every 28 minutes.
  • Make-A-Wish granted nearly 15,300 wishes in 2016 alone.
  • Make-A-Wish Colorado granted 264 in the last year alone.
  • Make-A-Wish Colorado serves the entire state of Colorado.
  • Since 1983, Make-A-Wish Colorado has granted more than 5,000 wishes. 
  • Make-A-Wish has more than 25,000 active volunteers in the United States, and 300 in the state of Colorado.
  • Make-A-Wish needs 2.5 billion frequent flier miles to meet all the travel need for wish kids and their families.
  • Nearly 70 percent of wish experiences involve travel.
  • The average cost of a wish for Make-A-Wish Colorado is $7,500 cash.


    Faith's wish to swim with dolphins

    Faith swimming with dolphin

    Faith swimming with dolphin

    Wish Impact

    According to the results of a 2011 Wish Impact Study that surveyed wish parents, health professionals, and Make-A-Wish® volunteers, a wish come true empowers children with life-threatening medical conditions to fight harder against their illnesses. When wish kids are granted a wish, they get more than just a great experience for a day, two days, or a week. That experience improves the quality of life for them and their entire family.

    Health professionals treating them say the wish experience is an important adjunct to medical treatment, and they observe their patients feel better and comply more readily with treatment protocols when they experience their wish come true. And the community volunteers who grant wishes say the wish granting process heightens both their ability to see the best in others, and their commitment to actively help more people in need.

    Improved Health Status

    •  Health professionals who treat wish kids, including nurses and doctors, overwhelmingly believe that the wish experience can improve a wish kids’ physical health.
    •  Most health professionals say a wish come true has the potential to be a positive turning point in the child’s battle for health.
    •  Parents and volunteers observe that a wish come true makes kids feel stronger and more energetic.
    •  Wish kids are more willing to comply with difficult, but vital, treatment regimens.
    •  Parents and medical professionals alike describe the wish experience as a frequent turning point in wish kids’ battles for health.

    A combined 89 percent of doctors, nurses and health professionals surveyed say they believe a wish experience can influence wish kids' physical health.* 

    Enhanced State of Mind

    •  Children and their parents alike experience more happiness and less fear in their lives.
    •  Children are less isolated from friends, and feel a return of self-confidence that comes with feeling “normal” again.
    •  They are empowered to take back control of their lives, and to keep up the fight against their life-threatening medical conditions.
    •  Parents say their family units – often strained to the limit by stresses of the illnesses – are repaired and strengthened through the shared experience of the wish process.


    Ninety-nine percent of parents reported that the wish experience gave their children increased feelings of happiness and 96 percent said that the wish experience strengthened their families. *

    Strengthened Communities

    • Volunteers feel an increased sense of compassion and desire to help others in their community.
    • They feel a renewed faith in humanity. 
    • They trust others more and feel more optimistic about the future.
    • They feel a greater long-term commitment to philanthropy.

    Ninety-five percent of community volunteers reported an increased sense of compassion and 84 percent felt an increased faith in humanity. *

    * “Wish Impact Study Results – Second Phase: Jan. – Aug. 2011” (consolidated results), Nov. 2, 2011.


    Abi's wish to go on a shopping spree.

    Abi goes shopping

    Abi goes shopping

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    Make-A-Wish® Colorado
    7951 E. Maplewood Avenue
    Suite 126
    Greenwood Village, CO 80111
    (303) 750-9474
    Toll Free Colorado Only (800) 366-9474