Laura Cullen looks at the bid to make Wishmakers on Campus a society
In 1980 in the United States, view 7-year-old Chris Greicius, sildenafil who was being treated for leukaemia at the time, experienced the joy that having a wish come true can bring. Two days before he died, Chris got to experience what it was like to be a policeman. Not only was he flown in a police helicopter, he was also kitted out in full policeman regalia that was specially tailored to fit him perfectly. Chris passed away two days later and was given a police funeral with full honours.
This incident marked the birth of the Make a Wish Foundation, which has since grown from strength to strength. This charity devotes its time to helping the sickest, and sometimes most unfortunate kids in society, by giving them a day of their dreams. As their mission statement affirms, the aim of Make a Wish is to “grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy”.
In 1992 the Irish Make a Wish Foundation was founded and since its inception it has helped make over a 1000 children’s dreams come true. That’s quite a feat, so the possibility that a Make a Wish Society could be established in UCD is an exciting thought. Daniel Creegan, would-be auditor of this society, noted that while setting up a new society on campus is difficult, they are hopeful that by September some progress will have been made and the coveted 1,000 signatures will have been obtained. At the moment they have 700.
When asked about the aim of the society, Daniel responded that it not only endeavours to create awareness of Make a Wish Ireland, but also to raise money and spread the word to other university societies. If UCD Make a Wish is set up, they will be the first Make a Wish university society in the world. A lot hinges on whether or not this society can be established. Undoubtedly, however, it is certainly something worth fighting for.
If this society receives the go ahead and firmly establishes itself in the midst of the denizens of UCD societies that are out there, students who join will find themselves participating in an organisation that makes a real difference. Groups of students will receive the opportunity to meet terminally ill children and work to try and grant these children their most desired wishes. Not only will this be exceptionally fulfilling for students, it will also make a huge difference in each child’s life.
From wishing for quad bikes, to going to Lapland – whatever these children want, they get. “Wishes are limited only by a child’s imagination” – this is the beautiful motto this charity is devoted to. What these volunteers do is turn fantasy into reality. For a small period of time a terminally ill child can escape their world of hospitals and doctors and instead experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They can feel carefree and worriless, enjoying nothing but the moment and their own happiness. Any charity that does this is providing a very admirable service.
The children’s families also benefit immensely from seeing their son or daughter literally having their dreams come true before their eyes. It can be a very poignant moment. The Make a Wish Ireland website is full of pictures of young boys and girls meeting different sports personalities like Christino Ronaldo and Fernando Torres, and singers and bands like Ne Yo and Westlife. Meeting a hero is always an unbelievable moment for anyone, even more so for a young child. If the Make a Wish UCD society is established and contributes to helping these children act out their dreams and fantasies then it would not only be a great addition to the university in general, but also to anyone who wants to make a big difference to a child. Their facebook page is called Wishmakers on Campus UCD and they are still looking to get more signatures so they can reach a 1,000 and hopefully get this wonderful society up and running before September.