“Every time I meet a new wish kid it’s so rewarding and fulfilling,” said Tammi, who became a wish granter in 2017 after someone she knew received a wish. “[My friend’s niece] was diagnosed with a brain tumor and passed away shortly after her wish to go on a Disney cruise, and I remember feeling like I needed to get involved with an organization that could make a family so happy even when going through such tragedy.”
While Tammi knew a little about Make-A-Wish from her experience, she never expected to connect with her wish families on such a deep level.
“One of my wish kids was a foster child at the time, and I had the opportunity to really get to know her family before her wish to Disneyland,” she said. “After the wish, her parents invited me to attend her adoption ceremony and that was very heartwarming. It meant a lot to be a part of their lives in this way.”
As a cancer survivor, Tammi has also been able to relate to many of her wish kids about the challenges they face.
“It’s a blessing for me to use a traumatic experience in my life and turn it into something good,” she said. “We talk about needles and hospital treatments, and I find I can relate to my wish kids no matter what condition they have.”
“I initially thought it would be more emotionally difficult granting wishes, but it’s actually just the opposite,” she continued. “The strength these kids have is so uplifting. A wish gives them something bright to look toward in their future rather than what they’re going through at the moment, and it’s wonderful to be that source of joy and something positive in their life.”
Tammi has been a part of 10 wishes so far, and she’s seen the impact they have on kids, families and even herself.
“I have four kids and seven grandkids who are all healthy, and I think about how fortunate I am with everything I have,” she said. “I try to remember that no matter what’s going on in your life, there’s someone who has it worse than you and I’m glad I have the opportunity now in my life to give back as a volunteer.”
What is your one true wish? To find the cure for life-threatening conditions or visit other kids around the world and hear how their wish experience affected them.