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4 Wishes that Made Us Say ‘Wow’ in 2017

Just a few of the wishes that made us say "wow" in 2017.
If you could wish for anything, what would it be?

Your imagination is running wild, we’ll bet.

That’s the beauty of the Make-A-Wish® mission. When a child is given the chance to make a wish, they can envision the impossible as possible. They can dream big, just as you would.

A wish brings new life to the passions, talents and hobbies of children who are battling critical illnesses. Every wish is tailored to its wish kid’s true personality and interests — and we are so often taken aback by the level of creativity, humility, joy, and community involvement that these wishes inspire. Here are just a few of those amazing wish moments from 2017:

Zayden wish to go to Saturn was granted by volunteers from NASA and TRICK 3D animation studio.

Zayden’s wish to go to Saturn in a red rocket ship

When Zayden was 2 days old, he was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease that required more than 40 surgeries. Although he faces daily challenges, Zayden retains the outgoing spirit, energetic personality and infinite imagination of an extraordinary 7-year-old. That was evident when Zayden wished to blast off into outer space and visit Saturn in a red rocket ship. But could it be done? Yes! That is, with the help of virtual reality and 3D animation studio TRICK 3D, former NASA astronaut Cmdr. LeRoy Chiao and a community of volunteers with Make-A-Wish Georgia. Zayden received “astronaut training” to prepare him for his mission while TRICK 3D designed their first virtual reality wish. Then, from Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Atlanta, Zayden blasted off to an imaginary, virtual Saturn, complete with the aliens he imagined would live there. WATCH

Ava’s parents sincerely credit her recovery to Willie Nelson’s music.

Ava’s wish to meet Willie Nelson

Ava was born premature at 27 weeks, and spent 213 days in the neonatal intensive care unit. She lived in an incubator and her parents were limited to two-hour visits per day. Ava underwent 12 surgeries in the first 15 months of her life — and had 60 percent of her intestines removed. Today, Ava’s parents sincerely credit her recovery to Willie Nelson’s music. During visits to the NICU, they would play country music for her — and quickly noticed that Ava would respond particularly well to Willie Nelson’s songs. Today, he is Ava’s favorite musician. She carries a Willie Nelson doll with her everywhere she goes, and every birthday, she requests that her cake be decorated with his photo. She even has a small guitar that she strums to Nelson’s songs — her favorite is “On the Road Again.” When Ava and Nelson met through Make-A-Wish North Texas, they exchanged bandanas and played guitar together. Nelson also autographed a copy of his new album and Ava’s guitar for her. READ MORE

Dominic wished to thank his loved ones for their support through his cancer journey. Photo credit: Xsight Photography & Video

Photo credit: Xsight Photography & Video

Dominic’s wish to host a Night of Gratitude

Dominic, 14, was diagnosed with bone cancer. Dominic has endured surgery, implants, and chemotherapy. When he was given the chance to make a wish, he considered traveling to Washington, D.C., or meeting his favorite actor. But ultimately, Dominic wished for something beyond himself. He wished to host an awards ceremony in which he would hand out thank-you trophies to all of his supporters through his medical journey. Dominic’s wish was sponsored by Five Star Bank and enhanced by Shutterfly, and granted by Make-A-Wish Northeastern California and Northern Nevada. A wish has the power to transform many lives, and Dominic’s wish is a genuine example of this. WATCH

Izzy models her own fashion design at Twitter's headquarters.

Izzy’s wish to be a fashion designer

Izzy received a heart transplant at 10 weeks old. Since then, the 11-year-old has endured blood draws, biopsies and six bouts of pneumonia in one year. Yet Izzy remains strong, creative and determined. On Aug. 24, nothing could stop her as she strode confidently down the runway of her own fashion show, hosted at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco. She held an audience of more than 240 rapt as she modeled her own styles. A large group worked behind the scenes to make Izzy’s one true wish come to dazzling life, thanks to Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area. And of course, Izzy’s fashion show attracted hundreds of live followers on social media with the hashtag #izzysrunway. On the runway, Izzy was no longer the girl with a large scar on her chest. She was a young woman with confidence, energy, determination and imagination. READ MORE

Thank you to all of our sponsors, donors, wish granters and volunteers who help make every life-changing wish come true.


A child is diagnosed with a critical illness every 20 minutes. Make-A-Wish is currently able to grant wishes for only one out of every two of these children. I want to help grant the wish of every eligible child!


If you know a child who might benefit from a wish, submit a referral today.  

About this Blog

Wish Nation gives you a behind-the-scenes look at Make-A-Wish®. See how wishes come together and how they change lives forever. Hear directly from those who work or volunteer here, or those who have been transformed by a wish. And learn why we are so committed to someday granting the wish of every eligible child, every year.

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