Volunteer Wish Granter Randell is not any ordinary volunteer. He was one of the first 30 children to ever receive a wish.
Randell had battled a life-threatening hereditary disease for the first few years of his life before his doctor spoke to his mother about the possibility of a wish.
“I cannot even imagine what my mother and family went through during those years,” said Randell, who doesn’t have vivid memories of his time in the hospital. “Being a wish granter, I do everything I can to assure the parents feel like they are a part of the wish experience and benefit from the happiness of their child.”
In 1983, when Randell was about two years old, his wish to see snow and sand was granted! Randell’s amazing volunteer wish granters planned an unforgettable wish for Randell. The family flew to Flagstaff, where they spent the night playing in the snow. It was Randell’s first interaction with snow! He then traveled to California to visit Disneyland, and was able to meet all his favorite characters and ride the rides.
Randell expressed, “even though the memory is a bit faded, being given the opportunity to have my wish come true makes me feel so special.”
Randell said the true keeper of his wish experience is his mother. She was excited for Randell to have a wish granted because she wanted her son to benefit like Chris did, creating time where Randell did not feel like a sick child.
”My mother’s heart was full after my wish,” said Randell. “And we made life-long family friends.”
In fact, Randell’s volunteer wish granter, Bruce, still keeps in touch with Randell’s family and even attended Randell’s college graduation.
“Bruce has been such an incredible influence in my life and has been someone who was always there and always going to be there,” said Randell. “Having him at my college graduation was a no-brainer. And now, as a wish granter, Bruce and I have something more to share.”
Randell’s wish additionally helped him think beyond his diagnosis. Having that time away from the hospital helped him to beat his condition. Today, Randell coaches football at a local high school, volunteers at a local hospital, and is a Wish Granter through Make-A-Wish Arizona.
“I came to a time in my life where I was ready to give back to my community, and what better way than getting involved with Make-A-Wish!” he said.
“This amazing foundation opened my eyes to see how I could grow personally. I now am constantly thinking of ways to help other people, like Make-A-Wish helped me.”