Make-A-Wish looking for 2,000 volunteers from across the country to participate in Wish Day on Friday, March 9.
Volunteers are asked to give a few hours of their time to sell wristbands in their local supermarket or shopping centre in order to raise much-needed funds for the children’s charity.
221 children from all around the country living with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy had their wishes granted in 2017, more than any year before.
“Children with life-threatening illnesses need your help today. Your precious gift of time this Wish Day will enable us to make wishes come true for seriously ill children when they most need strength, hope and joy,” Make-A-Wish Ireland CEO, Susan O’Dwyer said to Independent.ie.
“We have granted almost 2,200 wishes for Irish children which would not be possible without the support of the Irish public. A few hours from the people of Ireland on Friday March 9 to help raise valuable funds will make wishes come true for more children in your community,” she said.
Make-A-Wish does not receive any government funding and is solely dependent on the generosity of the general public to continue granting wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses in Ireland.
One child whose wish came true is nine-year-old Daniel Barrett from Walkinstown, Dublin who is living with a brain tumour. Make-A-Wish granted Daniel’s wish to visit NASA by organising a visit for him and his family to the Johnson Space Center in Texas.
Daniel’s life-changing visit included meeting real-life astronauts and even walking on NASA’s replica of the International Space Station. The family had VIP access to the old mission control room, and witnessed astronauts training underwater. Daniel’s mother, Orlagh said that the family will never forget the trip and that “it was a real, once-in-a-lifetime experience”.
Tomás Ó’Sé, 7, from Midleton, Cork is living with rhabdomyosarcoma (a type of cancer) and wished to meet his hero, Roy Keane. Make-A-Wish arranged a VIP tour of the Aviva Stadium for Tomás and his parents before introducing him to Roy. Tomás had prepared a list of questions for Roy about different periods in his career and life as a soccer player.
Research into the effects of Make a Wish intervention on psychiatric symptoms and health-related quality of life of children with cancer shows that children who have wishes granted are more likely to build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a serious illness.
Wish Day will take place across Ireland on Friday March 9 when Make-A-Wish volunteers will be selling wristbands and transfers, costing €2 each, at locations around the country - 100pc of proceeds collected will support wish granting for children living with life-threatening illnesses.