Granting wishes to sick children 'a beautiful process' with lasting results, says foundation

What does having a wish granted by the Children's Wish Foundation do for a child with a life-threatening illness, and their family? Health, happiness, distraction and more, according to a new survey released during this first-ever "wish month" of March. 

The Children's Wish Foundation commissioned Impakt Corp. to survey 52 wish parents on the impact on the wish child's emotions and physical health and long-lasting effects on the entire family, and published the results on its website.

"94 per cent of wish parents rate their child's happiness level as very high after the wish is completed," said the foundation's P.E.I. director Beth Corney Gauthier, adding 100 per cent of wish parents agreed the wish provided positive, long-lasting changes for the whole family.

Almost all wish families also agreed planning of and memories of the wish also provide distraction from the child's treatment or illness. 

"The goal [of the wish month] is really is to celebrate our over 30 years and almost 25,000 wishes and bring awareness to the community," said Gauthier.

22 wishes 'a high number'

The P.E.I. chapter of Children's Wish is now working on 22 wishes.

"It is a high number for us to be working on," said Gauthier, explaining the foundation has never turned down a wish for an eligible child. 

"We rely on the support of the community to grant these wishes, through our own events and through the wonderful donors here on the Island."

Anyone can refer a child for a wish, whether it's a parent, friend, teacher or neighbour, she said.

'It's a beautiful process'

"Disney is always a popular wish but far from the only wish we do," shared Gauthier, noting Island children have requested camping trips, playgrounds, cruises and watching professional sports games. 

"It's a beautiful process," she added.

To raise funds for all those wishes, the P.E.I. chapter has planned a number of events this month — including Family Feud and Chase the Ace fundraisers. Charlottetown City Hall and the Delta Hotel and P.E.I. Convention Centre are also illuminated at night with blue lights in honour of the charity. 

- MORE P.E.I. NEWS I Trial begins for Sandra Tomalin, P.E.I. woman charged with animal cruelty

- MORE P.E.I. NEWS I Charlottetown Islanders set franchise record with 43 wins