Make-A-Wish Michigan celebrates World Wish Day


GRAND RAPIDS, (WOOD) — Thursday marks World Wish Day, a day to celebrate the mission of the Make-A-Wish organization which grants wishes to children with critical illnesses.  

To celebrate, the Make-A-Wish Michigan chapter is hosting a discussion panel on the power a wish has for a child battling a critical illness.  

“Hope is absolutely essential. Sometimes no matter how promising our therapy, how innovative the treatments, how much promise for cure there might be for a child so much is taken away from that child and family,” said Dr. James Fahner with Spectrum Health.  

Fahner will moderate the discussion and also sits on the board of the Make-A-Wish Michigan.  On the panel will be physicians from around the country who have been leaders in mission of Make-A-Wish. 

“Hope unfortunately is sometimes in short supply, so to be able to pull out the prescription pad and say here is something truly hopefully for that family to be looking,” said Fahner. 

Research shows a wish for a child gives not only hope but also some health benefits.  

Children who received a wish experience came back with a restoration and renewal that allowed them to have fewer hospital stays, fewer visits to the emergency department and less medical expenses than children that did not receive that wish experience,” Fahner said.  

The discussion will start at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 29. You can preregister online.

The panel will include the following:  

  • Dr. James Fahner, Chapter Medical Advisor for Make-A-Wish Michigan and Endowed Division Chief, Ethie Haworth Children’s Cancer Center, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital at Spectrum Health.
  • Dr. Nancy Cutler, Pediatric Cardiology, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Michigan Medicine, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
  • Dr. Anup D. Patel, Section Chief of Pediatric Neurology, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Associate Professor, The Ohio State University Medical Center. 
  • Dr. Debra S. Regier, Medical Director, Rare Disease Institute, Children’s National Medical Center. 
  • Dr. Shoba Srikantan, Medical Director, Humana, and Chair, National Medical Advisory Council for Make-A-Wish America. 
  • Wish alum and volunteer leadership coach Tiffany Rowe will join the event as a special guest to talk about the life-changing impact of her wish experience. 

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