If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you know that my family has had an up-close and personal experience with cancer. What you may not know, because I never shared it here, is that because of my daughter’s diagnosis, she was granted a wish by the Make-a-Wish foundation.
If you’re not familiar with them, Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children who are facing life-threatening medical conditions. Like many 5 year olds, my daughter wanted to go to Disney World, and they made it happen.
We spent one magical week at the Give Kids the World Village not far from Disney and spent several awesome days at the parks, along with Sea World and Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and it was an experience none of us will ever forget. While we were on our trip, there were no thoughts of chemo or needle pokes or spinal taps. Just fun, and a little magic from Mickey Mouse and friends.
But we were not the only family Make-A-Wish helped that year. In fact, the organization grants 10,000 wishes each year that involve travel â€” and most of those, like ours, happen during the summer when kids are out of school.
So throughout the month of April, in preparation for the busy summer, Make-A-Wish has a big ask. Via their Wishes in FlightÂ® program, folks who fly on Delta, United, or US Airways can easily donate frequent flier miles to help grant wishes in just a few easy steps at wish.org/miles. Donated miles never expire and they will never be used for anything other than wish travel.
If you’re like me, you probably have airline miles that have been sitting unused for a while. That will probably expire if you don’t pay attention. In fact,Â some estimates show there are more than 16 trillion (TRILLION?!) frequent flier miles that go unused every year, and that 25 percent of people let their miles expire or use miles for magazine subscriptions or a one-time upgrade just so they can use them at the last minute.
Wouldn’t those miles be better spent helping to grant a wish for a sick child? Doctors say that wish experiences can improve childrenâ€™s state of mind, make them more willing to comply with treatment requirements, and even improve their physical health. I can vouch for this firsthand. Our week at Disney made my daughter a happier, more relaxed kid, without question. It was amazing for my husband and I as well, because it was our first real family vacation. And my husband, who had never been to Disney, got to be a kid again. Happy parents make for happier kids.
You can donate airline miles to Make-A-Wish throughout the year, but April is a critical time for airline miles because travel arrangements are being made for summer wish travel. To donate miles, visit wish.org/miles.
Note: I have not been asked to write about this or compensated in any way. I just wanted to share because I know what wonderful work Make-A-Wish does, and thought this was the very least I could do.