Founded by two pediatric nurses, the nonprofit Little Wishes allows seriously ill, hospitalized children to wish for something that will fill their heart and brighten their darkest days. Each wish provides much needed joy to ease the discomfort of long hospitalizations.
“Little Wishes was founded in memory of a little hero named Josh, who taught us that kind gestures can bring great happiness” said Little Wishes co-founder Laura Euphrat of San Anselmo.
With Giving Marin Community Partnership’s $10,000 grant earlier this year, Little Wishes brought joy to Marin County children being treated at Bay Area hospitals including 14-year-old Fatima of San Rafael, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. When she received her first chemotherapy infusion at California Pacific Medical Center, Fatima also received her first wish of Sephora makeup, which calmed her treatment fears. She now looks forward to her next wishes of wigs and scarves in anticipation of losing her hair to chemo.
Recurring wishes improve the quality of life for children enduring rigorous treatments of weeks, months and even longer like 13-year-old Dyllan of Fairfax, diagnosed with lymphoma. One of her favorite wishes was AirPods that kept her tangle free while communicating with friends and family.
“The relief and escape these wishes brought to Dyllan’s trips to the hospital helped her get through and gave us a feeling of love and community,” said Lisa Hubbard, Dyllan’s mother.
All wishes take place in a hospital and are delivered with fanfare by hospital staff. Milestones spent in the hospital are also celebrated including birthdays, graduations and no more chemo days. In addition, Little Wishes provides comfort in a child’s final days surrounding them with their most cherished belongings and providing memory making kits and keepsake lockets for the family to hold on to forever.
Little Wishes recently granted its 17,000th wish with over 2,000 wishes granted so far this year. Despite COVID-19, Little Wishes continues to deliver wishes every day to young patients who are more isolated than ever.
For 12-year-old Olive from San Anselmo, who was 5 when she was treated for cancer, wishes of costumes and toys from the movie “Frozen” helped her escape into the land of play during treatment.
“We will forever be grateful for all the love, laughter and hope these wishes gave Olive. They were a big part of our girl kicking cancer’s booty,” said Megan Diamond, Olive’s mom.
To make a donation to make a wish come true for a hospitalized child visit littlewishes.org or mail a check to Little Wishes, P.O. Box 2208, San Anselmo, California 94979.
Photos, top to bottom, Anabel and staff, Dyllan, Djream and John Paul, courtesy of Little Wishes