Who decides that a child will receive a wish?

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:

  1. The Wish Child must be nineteen years of age or younger. Children under the age of three will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  2. The Wish Child’s attending physician(s) must verify that the Wish Child has a life-threatening illness. A life-threatening illness is defined by New Hope for Kids as any illness, which will in all likelihood shorten that child’s life expectancy. Parents or guardians must provide a completed, witnessed physician verification when submitting the application.NHFK frequently grants wishes to children with Autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, etc. However, these disorders MUST be accompanied by a life-threatening physical problem such as a pulmonary, heart, liver, kidney problem or other way their health has been compromised that qualifies them for a wish. A behavioral or mental challenge does NOT qualify as a life-threatening affliction.
  3. The Wish Child’s attending physician(s) must give medical approval in writing for a wish in order for New Hope for Kids to grant the request (included on Medical Acknowledgement Form).
  4. Only one wish may be granted. New Hope for Kids does not grant wishes to a child who has previously received a wish from another wish-granting organization. New Hope for Kids has no obligation to consider applications in the order in which they are received.
  5. Wishes are limited to children who live in the following counties: Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Brevard, Polk, Volusia, and Lake.

If a child is non-verbal, parents are consulted to determine the wish in the child’s best interest.