Make-A-Wish gears up to grant its 2,000th wish

Today marks Wish Day, the charity's biggest fundraising effort

March 31st marks Wish Day with the Make-A-Wish foundation in Ireland, as the charity prepares to mark its 2,000th wish granted.
 
Make-A-Wish Ireland granted 209 wishes last year and this year, as the charity grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. According to Make-A-Wish, the impact of a wish is huge impact, "creating memories to last many lifetimes". 

In order for a child to qualify for a wish, the child must be between the ages of 3 and 17, and they must be living with a life-threatening medical condition. Categories of wish include - 'to be', 'to meet', 'to have' and 'to go'. 
 
Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show, the CEO of Make-A-Wish Ireland Susan O'Dwyer explained that the foundation receives no government funding - relying solely on the generosity of the general public and businesses. 

"It's tricky every year," O'Dwyer explains when it comes to choosing which child gets a wish. "I am really proud to say that of the 2,000 wishes, the team go the extra mile to ensure every child has their wish granted. 

"But to do that, we need funds."

Taking them away from the illness

Despite the difficult circumstances, ultimately the experience is creating memories for children beyond their illnesses. 

"I've been privileged to be at the unveiling of one or two wishes, and I've been truly humbled. The tenacity and the determination of these wish families [...] It's just amazing.

"Make-A-Wish believes every child deserves to be happy. We take them away from the doctors, the nurses, the treatment and we give them a time where they can be an actual normal family again."

Volunteers will be fundraising across the country - alternatively, you can donate €2 by texting ‘WISHES’ to 50300 (a minimum of €1.63 will go to Make-A-Wish). You can also donate at makeawish.ie.