Refer a Child
The impact of a wish goes beyond the immediate wish child touching families and friends as well, not only for the day of the wish, but often for a lifetime. For many, it is a way of regaining control and focusing on the joy and uniqueness of every child's life. It is important to remember that these are not intended to be "last wishes," but an endorsement of hope, strength and joy.
Meet A Referral Source
Shelley Lee began her medical career in 1989 and it was soon after that she saw the importance of referring patients to Make-A-Wish. When she first heard of Make-A-Wish, she thought it was solely for children with terminal illnesses. She then learned that any child with a life-threatening condition qualifies. A Child Life Specialist who works with patients of the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate Clinic at Children's Hospital of Illinois at OSF, Shelley has referred more than 125 children to Make-A-Wish.
"I was really happy and thrilled that it's offered to all children with life-threatening illnesses," Lee said. She found the process to refer patients simple and now refers every qualified patient. Shelley takes pride in spending time with parents to educate them about the benefits of Make-A-Wish.
An experience that she remembers was for a child who had a very specific wish-to go to Hawaii and fly in a helicopter over a live volcano on Christmas Eve! Of course, Make-A -Wish came through, lifting the child's spirits and creating memories for a lifetime.
"Referring families to Make-A-Wish is part of what I do; I try to take really good records of wishes to refer to in the future."
Other medical professionals agree. A recent survey on the impact of wishes granted conducted by Make-A-Wish America indicates that a wish come true helps children feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle their life-threatening medical conditions. For the children's doctors, nurses and other health professionals, the wish experience works in concert with medicine to make their patients feel better, emotionally and even physically.
The promise of a wish is one tool that Shelley Lee uses as she helps children through their diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening medical conditions. Make-A-Wish Illinois is honored to recognize her commitment to supporting the psychosocial needs of patients in addition to their physical healing.
Make-A-Wish does NOT solict donations through telemarketing or door-to-door.