The most authoritative voice in the decision-making process is that of the child’s physician. The physician is charged with a decision—does this child have a life-shortening illness or not? He/she is asked to sign a New Hope for Kids Medical Acknowledgement Form verifying that the child DOES have a potentially life-shortening, life-threatening illness. He is NOT stating that the child will die within a certain time frame. WHY is this a requirement? There are many diseases and disabilities that make life difficult and challenging for a large number of children and their families, but they are not all life-threatening. While we are aware of those who have a variety of afflictions, we have determined that the following criteria for eligibility of a child to receive a wish from New Hope for Kids:
I watch the news every day and see horrendous stories about children who are neglected, abused and left to grow up without care. It breaks my heart to imagine a life like that. Families that I meet have more than the average challenges when raising their children. These kids are in a fight for their lives, and their parents are providing the life boat. They feed, bathe, entertain, perform healthcare such as aspirating, feeding tubes, administering medicine, adjusting braces, pushing wheelchairs, and sitting up all night when their child cannot rest because of seizures, severe asthma attacks or gastro interruptions. Their job is seven days a week and requires shifts between parents 24 hours a day. When I ask, “How do you do it?” Their answer is, “We do what we need to do. It becomes a way of life.” They’ve stopped asking “Why me?” and instead inquire, “What can we do now to make life better for our child?” It’s not easy; I see that. It is sometimes grueling, yet the love these parents show for their children is life-altering and more real than any I’ve ever witnessed. They didn’t choose; they were chosen.
Parents and children are encouraged to email pictures, wish stories and thoughts to New Hope for Kids. They are displayed in the Wish office and shared on our website. We hope that each new family will attend at least one family event to meet other families and that they will want to share their story with others and encourage friends to request their own wish.
WISHES RESULT IN:
Respite from the stress of treatments, hospitalizations and tests.
A reason to continue and to look forward to the future.
Improved well-being and quality of life for the wish child and his/her family.
Hope and strength to fight life-threatening illnesses.
A new “community” of friends through the New Hope for Kids Family.