In hospitals and clinics across the country, healthcare professionals are working with Children’s Wish to help grant a sick child’s most heartfelt wish. This year, our healthcare partners referred 1,451 kids to Children’s Wish, because they understand the positive medical and emotional benefits of a child’s wish-come-true. Joy is a wonder drug.
“In the first full year after expanding the eligibility criteria to include a growing group of severely ill children with major disabilities in all aspects of their daily living, almost 200 children from coast to coast were referred to Children’s Wish. The feedback from our healthcare providers and families was overwhelmingly enthusiastic and passionately positive.
Many of these families are required to provide 24/7 care for their severely disabled child, and are constantly in and out of the hospital. For them, the wish provided a beacon of hope, joy and positivity with long-lasting and widespread ripple effects. For the patients and families in my hospital practice with incurable and life-long disabling diseases that I have been able to refer for a wish, it has felt like one of the best things I have ever been able to ‘prescribe’ for them as their physician.”
- Dr. Jeremy Friedman,
Associate Paediatrician-in-Chief, The Hospital for Sick Children
We are thrilled that BCCH plays such a significant role in fulfilling the wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.
Over the past year, with the help of Dr. Shubayan Sanatani, our relationship with the Heart Centre at BCCH has flourished. As Head, Division of Pediatric Cardiology and Medical Director, Dr. Sanatani has been a champion of the benefits of a wish granted by Children’s Wish and has encouraged his team to get involved by referring their patients as well. We are so grateful to all of the physicians, nurses and staff at the Heart Centre who have supported our mission. We are particularly proud of Connie Ens, a Heart Centre registered nurse, whose dedication to the children she serves has led her to refer more eligible children to The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada than any other individual nationwide.
At the Oncology, Hematology, and BMT Clinic at BCCH, the doctors, nurses, social workers, child life specialists and staff truly understand the power of a wish. Together, they ensure that as many children and families as possible enjoy the special experience of a heartfelt wish fulfilled. Their commitment to the families in their care and their belief in the value of a wish results in dozens of new children registered with our organization each year, and many more happy memories for families in BC & the Yukon.
To make this process even simpler, Sainte-Justine Hospital offered to post a link to these forms on their intranet. This way, any medical staff member has access to them at any time.
Sainte-Justine Hospital has been a partner of Children’s Wish since the very beginning. For over 30 years, doctors, nurses and social workers have been referring children diagnosed with a life-threatening illness to the Foundation, knowing that having their most heartfelt wish granted will give these children hope and help them to get through difficult and often painful treatments. Over the years, thousands of children treated at Sainte-Justine have experienced the power of a wish with their families at a critical time of their lives and they are now able to cherish those wonderful memories of their unique wish experience.
Whether children dream of visiting grandparents who live far away or to meet their favourite hero, wishes make an extraordinary difference in the challenging lives of sick children. We are thankful to our friends at Sainte-Justine for their unwavering support of our wish children.
Every year, they refer over 70% of all our referrals in Southern Alberta. More importantly, the Alberta Children’s Hospital has provided treatment to virtually every single one of our wish children from the region.
One of our top referrers is Lisa Parrish, a social worker in the Pulmonary Clinic. Lisa describes what she believes is the power of a wish: “A wish can provide a child and their family with a sense of normalcy, where the reality of the child’s diagnosis, treatment and care needs may be temporarily paused, replaced with the freedom to enjoy a typical childhood activity, while sharing an experience they will remember forever.”
Lisa meets with dozens of families who have seen their child’s wish granted. What they tell her always keeps her coming back to Children’s Wish with referrals. “Each time, regardless of the type of wish granted, I have received very positive feedback about Children’s Wish, its staff and the wish granting process.”