Make-A-Wish New Zealand celebrates World Wish Day
Make-A-Wish® New Zealand will celebrate World Wish Day® on 29 April, the 39th anniversary of the wish for then-7-year-old Chris Greicius that inspired the founding of the organisation. World Wish Day celebrates the hundreds of thousands of life-changing wishes that have been granted – and the thousands of wishes still to come.
During the month of April, Make-A-Wish New Zealand is sharing the stories of wish alumni – children whose wishes gave them the strength to fight their illness and transform their lives. Wish alumni like Jake Knight from Christchurch whose wish was “to meet Chief Pfeifer and the FDNY team” was granted in 2011 when he was 15 years old, and battling Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.
Jake, now 23 years old, is close to achieving his dream to be a firefighter with the Fire Department of New York (FDNY). Jake currently resides in Canada, working as a part-time firefighter. Jake sat the FDNY test in September 2017 to achieve a list number, a step closer to becoming a member of the FDNY. The next step is for Jake to gain residency and citizenship to the United States so that he can fulfil his dream to join the FDNY.
Jake’s story shows that a wish is not necessarily a last wish, but rather, an important part of a child’s medical treatment and healing.
“Children who receive a wish replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope – a powerful combination that helps wish children look beyond the challenges of today toward the possibilities of tomorrow,” says Pam Elgar, CEO, Make-A-Wish New Zealand. “More often than not, the wish can help give children the strength to fight, to get better and to achieve their dreams.”
World Wish Day illustrates the important role a wish plays in a child’s medical treatment by helping children build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness.
World Wish Day
Wish Alum Jake’s Wish reunion story:
Wish Alum Jake’s wish reunion video: