“I’ve always loved kids and worked with them when I was in college,” said Jonathan. “After I graduated from medical school and moved to Arizona, I was driving down the street one day when I saw The Parsons Wish House.”
Jonathan, who was somewhat familiar with Make-A-Wish, decided to sign up for a volunteer training and around this time last year, he signed onto his first wish.
“His name was Emilio and he wished to have a shopping spree to all his favorite stores,” said Jonathan. “A lot of other wishes I’ve granted are Disney related, so it was really fun to be a part of the wish day and share the experience with Emilio for my first wish.”
And although Jonathan has been volunteering for just one year, he has fully immersed himself in the wish granting process and is already working on his 10th wish.
“I’m really interested in working in pediatrics someday and that’s what drew me to Make-A-Wish,” he said. “I’ve seen the wish process change kids and it’s really refreshing to see how much it affects them. Even if it’s just for a week or a few months, their wish gives them hope and helps them forget about being sick.”
“I get the fun job, it’s the wish managers [staff] who have to do all the work,” he continued with a laugh. “So many of my wish kids are so full of energy and have such lively personalities - they don’t let their illnesses get them down.”
Jonathan, who is bilingual, also has been a huge help to families who are primarily Spanish-speaking.
“Sometimes, wish kids may too young to understand what’s happening to them or why they are sick, so dealing with illnesses and being vulnerable can be even more difficult for wish parents,” he said. “I’ve met many wish kids who are bilingual but their parents don’t speak any English, so being able to talk with them and make everyone more comfortable is what keeps me motivated to continue granting wishes.”
“I would definitely tell anyone who speaks more than one language, not just Spanish, to consider coming to a volunteer training and becoming a wish granter,” said Jonathan. “I’m so thankful I’ve been given this opportunity and I hope to continue granting wishes for as long as I can.”
My one true wish: To meet Kobe Bryant