Why Your Donation Matters on Giving Tuesday and Beyond

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday.

You’ve heard the chatter about this special day, the day of philanthropy celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. But did you know, since being initiated in 2012, Giving Tuesday has grown into a global movement of fundraising for nonprofits?

It has inspired everything from collection drives for food, blood anwish-familyd clothing banks, to monetary donations and random acts of kindness. Last year alone, Giving Tuesday inspired $117 million in donations, which was raised for charities in more than 70 countries.

With so many worthy organizations deserving of your support, we ask you on this Giving Tuesday to keep Make-A-Wish in your charitable giving thoughts and actions.  Continue reading

Forever a Wish Kid

By Simon Staples-Vangel, Wish Kid

I’m writing this post just a few days shy of my twenty-third birthday. It was over eighteen years ago that I was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma, and it’s been almost seventeen years since my Make-A-Wish experience. While that timespan makes it feel like a lifetime ago, I still have vivid memories of my treatment and, of course, my wish. It’s difficult for those who aren’t in the pediatric cancer community to grasp what a child goes through during such an aggressive cancer treatment. No doubt, they know that it is a painful and miserable experience, but they don’t understand the situation from the perspective of a young child.  Continue reading

The Magic of Family

By Dena Tadros, Wish Sibling, YPAC Events and Marketing Chair

As the oldest of four children, I have always been taught to be responsible and watch over my siblings in the best way that I knew how.  Whether it meant helping out with homework or fixing an after-school snack, I in a sense became a second mother to them growing up.  To this day, I know that my brother and sisters are not afraid to call or text for advice on new careers they want to explore, how they should set up their resume, or even what to wear on a date!  One of the greatest feelings in the world to me is knowing that my siblings value the life experiences I share with them and that in some way, shape or form, they’ve followed my advice and succeeded in their own paths.  Continue reading

A Wish is Everlasting

By Julia Benbenek, Wish sibling

Siblings tend to have a special bond that revolves around laughs and “shhhh” when mom and dad come around. Constant happy screams, laughter and running around was always guaranteed once you walked into our house. Until one day things changed in our household. The laughs suddenly were rarely heard and everything became still.

Cancer is not an easy topic for anyone to understand, especially for kids. I was 3 and my sister, Carlie, was 7 when our older brother, Andrew, was 9 and diagnosed with medulloblastoma. We didn’t know much besides the fact that mom, dad and Andrew were never home so Grandma and Grandpa practically moved in to take care of us. We never quite understood the seriousness of Andrew’s illness but we were always pleasantly surprised when others would bring us gifts or cards that students made at school for Andrew, but the best surprise was the one that we never expected.  Continue reading

Remembering Mikey

By  Aimee McBride, Wish Mom

Five-year-old Mikey loved to play outside with his big brother Parker. He loved motorcycles, his dog “Bo,” and the color blue. After being diagnosed and treated for Wilm’s tumor, a rare kidney cancer, Mikey was given a wish. He wanted to go to Walt Disney World to meet and hug Mickey Mouse, and his wish came true in 2010. Though Mikey passed away from his illness, his family continues to celebrate his life and memory. One special way is through an annual gift and note to Make-A-Wish Central New York sent around the time of Mikey’s birthday. The McBride family’s desire is to continue Mikey’s legacy by supporting the joy-filled wishes of other children with life-threatening medical conditions. We think that’s a beautiful way to remember him and hope you do, too.

Below is this year’s letter from Mikey’s mom, Aimee, who has given us permission to share:

March 8…such a difficult day. They all are, honestly. But the birthdays, those are big…the reminder of what should have been, how old they should be, a reminder of just how much their physical presence is missed in our family. Continue reading

Team Alex and Team Make-A-Wish

By Jim McLaughlin, Wish Dad

Editor’s note: Wish Kid Alex McLaughlin, 11, is running his first Boilermaker 5K via the Charity Bib Program. This will be Alex’s first time with Team Make-A-Wish; his dad, Jim, has run with the team since 2014.

My wife Bonnie and I both started running the Boilermaker about 15 years ago. We have missed a few years here and there, but have each done several 5K’s and 15K’s. If not for the Make-A-Wish Charity Bib, we would probably both be retired from running.

Our son Alex was diagnosed on August 24, 2011 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). He completed treatment on his 10th birthday, October 24, 2014. Throughout his treatment we became aware of many different charities and fundraisers benefitting many sick children and their families. Make-A-Wish was obviously a major one that granted Alex’s wish to meet his favorite baseball team in 2012. Continue reading

Connor’s Hawaii Wish

By Connor David Stanton, Wish Kid

We left our house around 3:50 in the morning in a limo. We flew from the Syracuse airport to Newark, where we had breakfast. Then was the long flight from Newark to Honolulu, which was between 9 and 11 hours long.

Connor and family

The final flight was from Honolulu to Hilo. Once we got to Hilo, we still had an hour and 45 minute drive to get to our resort. By the time we got there, it was about 8. Our long-awaited trip had finally begun! We hadn’t eaten yet so we had dinner and went to bed. Continue reading