Granting wishes gives ill kids hope
By granting a sick child's wish, you are giving him or her control over the illness.
A child overwhelmed by sickness and treatments may think it is impossible to dream big and have it come true.
This is where Make-A-Wish Foundation Singapore - the only wish-granting foundation here - steps in to turn the child's wish into a reality.
In turn, the child realises that dreams do come true, and that he or she is in control of his or her own life, and thus illness.
The psychological and emotional impact of a fulfilled dream is so great that it helps the child towards his or her recovery, says the foundation's programme executive, Mr Jan Kok.
Mr Kok is one of nine staff members who works hard behind the scenes to coordinate the details, including booking hotel rooms, getting tickets, as well as liaising with organisations, volunteers and beneficiaries.
He doubles as a photographer on Wish Days, and sometimes gets involved in the wish-granting.
The foundation is a non-profit organisation that is part of a global network granting wishes of children aged between three and 18 who have a life-threatening medical condition. It aims to give them joy, hope and strength.
Set up here in 2002, it has since granted more than 1,200 wishes.
There are about 270 volunteer wish granters, of which about 150 are active at any one time, says the foundation's manager of programme services, Ms Leanora Lyn Gaffar.
The foundation needs about $1.9 million this year to grant wishes and for its other operational expenses, says its chief executive officer, Ms Judy Lim.
While fund-raising makes up the bulk of the funding, it also depends on well-wishers to donate generously, she adds.
On Nov 26, the foundation's fund-raising event Santa Run for Wishes will be back for the third time.
Ms Lim says: "We aim to raise about $700,000 and attract about 5,000 participants."
The run will be held at the Gardens by the Bay East (near Passion WaVe @ Marina Bay) from 5pm to 10pm.
The registration fee for a 2km or 5km fun run for adults is $48. It is $38 for children aged between four and 11.
All registration and donation proceeds will go to the foundation.
Find out more at www.santarunforwishes.sg
FOR THE CHILDREN: Make-A-Wish Foundation Singapore's programme executive Jan Kok and volunteer wish granter Suzanne Liu. TNP PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
Help grant these wishes
Make-A-Wish Foundation Singapore has an Adopt-A-Wish Programme, where you can adopt a child's wish from a minimum of $5,000.
This way, you have a direct contribution in making a child's wish come true.
Here is a list of wishes up for adoption:
WHO A 16-year-old girl with spinal muscular atrophy
HER WISH To have a new wheelchair
WHY She has not had the chance to leave her home for leisure in over ten years as she is dependent on others to care for her.
Her genetic disorder affects her control of muscle movement and she is on a 24-hour ventilator. She cannot speak and communicates by blinking.
WHO A 12-year-old boy with acute lymphoblastic leukemia
HIS WISH To meet British gamer Daniel Middleton, who publishes Minecraft videos
WHY He is a big fan of Minecraft, a virtual building block game. He is a shy boy who does not have many friends, other than about four close ones from school.
The wish granters hope to plan a Skype and gaming session with Mr Middleton for him.
WHO A nine-year-old boy with congenital hypoventilation syndrome
HIS WISH To have a silent piano
WHY He loves music and wants to practice it anytime of the day.
He was born with a very rare condition that causes him to stop breathing whenever he falls asleep. So, he has to use a ventilator when he gets sleepy. Despite that, he is an active boy who has table tennis, badminton and swimming classes.
WHO A 15-year-old boy who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy
HIS WISH To watch the Barcelona Football Club play live in Spain
WHY He enjoys playing Fifa 16, even though his genetic disorder marks progressive muscle degeneration and weakness that makes him prone to falls. He also has impaired movements, slight slurring in his speech and gets around on a wheelchair.
His favourite football team is Barcelona and Lionel Messi is his favourite player. He hopes to travel to Spain with his father.
WHO A seven-year-old boy with ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency
HIS WISH To have a room makeover
WHY He has a rare metabolic disease and several other complications that makes him prone to seizures, which can cause him to fall and injure himself.
He is non-verbal but has some receptive understanding of language.
His family has recently moved into their new home and his parents would like to convert a room into a giant soft playroom for him.
Email email@example.com or call 6334-9474 for more wishes to adopt.