The Children’s Wish Foundation has always been the leader in wish granting in Canada. In 2010, we moved from an illness-based criteria list to a set of High-Risk Life Threatening Principles (HRLTPs) to define the medical eligibility of children. Our objective in doing this was to allow our eligibility criteria to evolve in parallel with improvements in medicine; that year, we saw a 23% increase in wish referrals! Over the last 2-3 years though, having seen a flat-lining in our referrals, our Board and Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) initiated discussions on broadening our criteria.

We considered a variety of approaches and looked closely at how quality of life issues might impact our wish granting criteria; discussions centered around reaching those most in need, which led us to expand our HRLTP #3 to include children with severe Cerebral Palsy and severe metabolic or genetic conditions. These conditions represent an emerging population who may not have survived 10-20 years ago. Advancements in medicine mean that these kids are now surviving, but are left with incredible challenges to their health and quality of life.

The MAC estimated that including these children might mean an annual increase of 100-200 wishes. Based on early results, we are right on track, and we’re thrilled to provide the incredible gift of a wish to these deserving kids. Over 120 such kids have been approved for a wish to date! The MAC will continue to assess this and other potential illness areas so that CWF can continue to grow to reach deserving children. Please join us as in our More Wishes, More Wonders Campaign, focussed on the additional fundraising needed for these new children’s wishes.