A licensed social services professional who currently works at Banner University Medical Center in Tucson, Krista is one of many medical professionals who regularly refers children to Make-A-Wish Arizona.
“I remember hearing about Make-A-Wish for many years, even as a child myself,” said Altermatt. “However, it wasn’t until I started working at Banner UMC that I became more involved with the organization and could truly understand the magnitude and importance of the opportunities Make-A-Wish provides.”
Krista believes that referring a child for a wish can impact not only the child, but their family as well.
“Being able to work with Make-A-Wish and refer patients to be granted a wish is the best feeling," she continues. "I will always remember the smiles, the excitement, the stories, and the pictures from our patients’ wishes.
"Also, knowing the families can carry these memories with them and look back on a time that brought them so much joy with their child is extremely heartwarming.”
Krista referred 15-year-old Robin, who has a life-threatening kidney disease, for a wish earlier this year after meeting her and her family. Her wish, to go to Paris, will be granted after her transplant.
As Krista works with her patients, she experiences how a wish impacts a child mentally, emotionally, and physically.
“When one of my patients has been granted their wish, they absolutely radiate with excitement and positivity,” she says. “Just the simple thought that their wish is coming true takes their mind off their illness."
"The wish granted by Make-A-Wish lifts their spirits, brings them hope, and provides them with something tangible to keep pushing forward for."
“Being able to work with Make-A-Wish and refer patients to be granted a wish is the best feeling.”
Krista advises that other medical professionals who are hesitant to refer wish kids to just ask!
“Make-A-Wish Arizona will help you through the referral process each step of the way and answer any questions that arise,” she says. “Once you’ve referred one child, it will compel you to ensure each deserving child is never overlooked and always granted the opportunity to experience their greatest joy.”
To learn more about wish eligibility or refer a child with a life-threatening medical condition, please visit arizona.wish.org/refer-a-child
for more information.