Celebrating its 40th Anniversary

Wish Kid Jennifer 15

How It All Started: Chris’ Wish

On April 29, 1980, a 7-year-old boy named Chris Greicius with leukemia made a wish that came true – and sparked a global movement that has delivered hope and healing to children, families and communities around the world. In the forty years since, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 500,000 wishes across five continents, including more than 330,000 wishes for children with critical illnesses in the U.S. and its territories.

Wishes in San Diego

Make-A-Wish San Diego creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. They seek to bring every eligible child’s wish to life because every child deserves a childhood. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness. This year, Make-A-Wish is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the wish that inspired the founding of the organization in 1980, paving the way for the creation of the Make-A-Wish San Diego chapter in 1983. Since the chapter’s founding, more than 4500 wishes have been granted for children in the local community.

The San Diego chapter relies on over 300 volunteers who serve as wish granters working directly with wish families and events. The chapter also works year-round with medical referral sources and community partners like Rady Children’s Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Balboa Naval Hospital and the MediExcel Health Plan to make wishes a reality. And they could not grant wishes without the important donors and supporters made up of individuals, corporate sponsors, foundations, and philanthropic groups in the San Diego community who understand the importance of granting a wish.

Wishes are still waiting, and they need stars like you to ensure every wish in the San Diego community comes true. Help them make every wish come true. Visit to learn how you can join them in celebrating 40 years of granting wishes.


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Esteban Villanueva