It all started with a single wish. Watch the amazing, true story of Make-A-Wish's founding and how one community came together to bring a life-changing wish to life.
Founded in Phoenix, Arizona in 1980, when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities.
After the start of Make-A-Wish in the United States, interest in granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions quickly spread to other nations. In 1993, Make-A-Wish International was officially formed to serve five countries outside the U.S. - and now helps to serve children outside the United States in more than 50 countries on five continents through its 42 affiliates. Make-A-Wish America grants the wishes of children in the United States through its 62 chapters. With the help of generous donors and over 40,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish has collectively granted approximately nearly 450,000 wishes worldwide since 1980.
Impacting children in more than 50 countries through our 42 offices worldwide.
Chris Greicius - The Wish that Inspired Make-A-Wish
The creation of Make-A-Wish was inspired in the U.S. in 1980 by the fulfillment of a wish of a 7-year-old boy with leukemia named Chris Greicius, who wished to be a policeman. His mother, several friends and a group of police officers, with the cooperation of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, granted his wish with a custom-made uniform, helmet, badge, and helicopter ride! After the wish, those involved were inspired and eager to bring that same hope, strength and joy they saw as a result of Chris’ wish, to more children. Their simple idea has led to the continued growth of the world’s largest wish-granting organization, now operating in nearly 50 countries.
Bopsy Salazar - The First "Make-A-Wish" Child
The magical relationship Make-A-Wish has formed with Disney® on a global scale began with Frank "Bopsy" Salazar, the first official wish child of Make-A-Wish. Like Chris, he was a 7-year-old boy in the U.S. who was diagnosed with leukemia and revered people in uniform. Make-A-Wish set out to grant his wish to be a firefighter, and thanks to wonderful support from our Disney friends, more fun was in store for his magical wish when he became the first of a long history of wish children to visit a Disney Theme Park.