Diane Blum

Freelance Writer

"Make-A-Wish Charity Editorial"
posted in Silicon Valley Label Magazine
When Local Communities Care... Wishes Come True
And Smiles Can Really Heal

The Make-A-Wish® Foundation is on a mission to bring hope, joy and lots of smiles to kids with life-threatening medical conditions. The organization takes a young patient’s dream, adds a good dose of imagination and creates the perfect wish for that child. Founded in 1984, Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area is close to granting its 6,000th wish. That’s a lot of smiles. The non-profit organization works with families of kids, aged 2½ - 18. Wishes typically fit in one of four categories, including traveling to a dream destination, spending a day in a dream occupation, meeting a star or public figure, or getting something special that they’d otherwise not be able to afford. The national organization has fulfilled over 219,000 wishes in its 32 year existence! So how can the community help? The organization is always looking for financial support, volunteers and also, airline mileage to use for wish fulfillment. The Bay Area organization holds many fundraising events throughout the year, check out www.sf.wish.org . The Make-A-Wish Foundation particularly appreciates support from local business communities, and we are proud to say that Silicon Valley Label Magazine 2012 and our superb community of Silicon Valley partners have stepped up to help by collectively making a donation to this incredible organization. Most of these kids do get better over time…and we think giving them a reason to smile during their illness and treatment can empower them with the strength to heal and carry on.
Helping Others Keep Their Spirits Up
Katie Murphy was 16 when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She had to have a PICC line surgically implanted in her arm for her chemotherapy treatments. Daily, she had to keep it covered with a webbed cotton cover; it always reminded her of her illness. So, she started designing creative PICC covers to help keep her spirits up. After she got better, she started the Piccolina Foundation, providing free customized PICC covers for other kids at Lucille Packard Hospital. She was so excited to meet Justin Timberlake for her wish; her mom said it, “made Katie feel fabulous!”
Meeting A Giant Hero
Zach Hernandez was three when he was diagnosed with leukemia, requiring frequent hospital visits and chemotherapy. Zach’s wish was to meet the San Francisco Giants. His family was picked up in a limo, visited the players during practice and watched a game. Zach even got an autograph and baseball advice from Tim Lincecum! Zach’s mom says, “Thank you, Make-A-Wish for making Zach feel like the king of the world for a day, because all the other days were dealing with pain and illness. As a mother, to see the joy on his face was priceless.” Zach’s doing well now. Homerun!
Give the Gift of Life
The “Heart Man” was one of the longest living heart transplant patients in the U.S. when he died in 2003. He lived 18 extra years because of the unselfish act of organ donation by a 23-year old accident victim. The Heart Man, Cliff Steer, received a new heart and spent those 18 bonus years carrying around his old, diseased heart in a formaldehyde-filled bucket, to elementary schools throughout San Jose. There he talked to thousands of kids about how poor choices in his youth, drinking and smoking, had crippled his heart. And he’d be holding his old, diseased heart as he told his story. It made a powerful impression. He also talked about organ donation, and how the simple act of a stranger, signing up to be a donor, had given him a second chance at life with his wife, kids and grandkids. More than 92,000 patients are waiting for organ transplants. An average of 18 people dies each day from the lack of available organs. What if one of those 18 people was someone you loved? Don’t wait, become a donor. It’s easy, but you do have to register to be one. You can get designated as a donor when you get or renew your driver’s license, or go to www.donatelifecalifornia.org to register or learn more. And go to www.marrow.org as well, to find out how you can help leukemia patients who are in need of life-saving bone marrow transplants. Give the most precious gift of all, life.
Let's get creative!