“My sister had just passed away from cancer and I was having a really hard time,” said Krystal. “I had taken care of her when she was sick and I wanted to do something where I could continue to help others. That’s when I found Make-A-Wish Arizona.”
Krystal showed up for her wish granter training not sure what to expect and was amazed at the impact wishes had, on the kids and on her.
“I would meet a new wish kid and see how they would fight to survive and that inspired me to stay strong and keep moving forward,” she said. “I had one wish kid, Bronson, who was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition and wished to go to Disneyland. Since his family has been back, he’s doing so much better health wise and his mom attributes everything to his wish. Even if it’s just for a little while, these wishes give children the chance to get out of the hospital or their daily routine, so they can just enjoy being a kid.”
Another wish kid Krystal has grown close to is 15-year-old Yazy, who wished to meet Justin Bieber.
“We revealed her wish was coming true by surprising her on her birthday,” she said. “Yazy is his biggest fan, so she was jumping up and down on cloud nine! I think it’s really all about creating those moments kids will never forget.”
In addition to granting wishes, Krystal helps interview potential new volunteers each month and has also recruited her friends, family and community members to get involved.
“I’ve noticed that people always want to help, sometimes all you have to do is ask,” she said. “Everyone loves hearing stories about my wish kids and if there is a room renovation or a wish enhancement I’m planning, people I know are excited to help after hearing the way I talk about it. One of my friends even signed up to be a volunteer, so now we grant wishes together."
After granting nearly 12 wishes, Krystal says her favorite part about volunteering is seeing kids transform throughout the process.
“I’ll meet the shyest kids and by the time their wish is granted they are your best friend and so confident about themselves,” said Krystal. “I get to watch them blossom and it’s amazing to see the difference a wish makes in these kids’ lives.”
“Granting wishes is probably the most joyous thing you can do,” she said. “It’s addicting in a good way!”
My one true wish: I wish to have all four of my nephews at my wedding next year. These are my deceased sister's boys and they mean the world to me. My wish is for all of us to be together for the first time since she passed three years ago.