Our favorite Make-A-Wish requests that changed the world

You’ve heard of Make-A-Wish® America, whose president and CEO David Williams (MBA ’92) will speak at the Bauer College on Jan. 22. The national philanthropic organization has granted more than 254,000 wishes since its beginnings in 1980 through 61 local chapters nationwide.

But over the years, you’ve probably seen headlines and national televised news stories documenting the impact the wish-granting organization has made on the lives of young patients, their families and their communities. These are some of our favorites.

Online registration for the Bauer College Inspiring Minds event featuring Williams has closed. Please visit the table outside the auditorium to sign in before the event.

By Brandon Moeller


The ‘I’m Batkid’ Wish


Image source: Paul Sakuma/Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area

Two Novembers ago, leukemia survivor Miles Scott was transformed into Batkid – and the city of San Francisco and perhaps the entire internet came to a standstill as his live-streamed crusade against evil as the sidekick to Batman captured our hearts.


The ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ Wish


Pictured: The band with a different lineup 30 years later.

At the request of Make-A-Wish, the band Journey traveled to Cleveland, Ohio in 1983 to meet Kenny Sykaluk, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. The band delivered their new, unreleased song “Only the Young” to the fan – on a Sony Walkman.


The Meet the Chief Wish


Image source: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Make-A-Wish participant Diego Diaz shares a fist bump with President Barack Obama in 2012, after the President read his letter.


The Fight it On My Own Terms Wish

eric and ben

Image Source: Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish

Video game enthusiast and young cancer patient Ben Duskin wished to fight his cancer cells in a game. Make-A-Wish introduced him to software engineer Eric Johnston, the duo met weekly for half a year to develop Ben’s Game. If Johnston looks familiar, that’s because he’s Batman, also featured in this story.


The Help Me Help Them Wish


Image Source: Kristin’s Heart

For her Make-A-Wish request, Houston-area’s own Kristin Elliott wished for an orphanage in Zambia for less fortunate children she worked with regularly during church mission trips. The organization donated the original seed money and Elliott – who was battling synovial cell sarcoma and was then named ABC’s Person of the Week – took it from there and raised enough for Kristin’s Miracle House, and she now operates her own nonprofit organization.


2 thoughts on “Our favorite Make-A-Wish requests that changed the world

  1. I am not sure when this was posted, but I am so moved to be on this amazing list! Thank you for featuring my story on your website.

    Kristin Elliott

  2. Karen says:

    Thank you for helping our son Diego Diaz to dream big.

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