The wish effect

The wish effect

Wishes are vital.

Research has shown that children who experience a wish show a significant reduction in general distress, depression and anxiety symptoms. What’s more, these feelings were replaced with a greater general sense of hope for their future and positive emotions.

On the physical side, children who experience a wish also have a greater health-related quality of life, including a significant reduction in their perceptions of their own physical limitations. 

Dom's wish gave him a new confidence

"My name’s Dom. But you can call me Iron Boy.

"I’m ten and I have Cystic Fibrosis. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had lots of treatment every day – physio to clear my lungs, exercise and a special diet. If I don’t do this every day, I’ll get really sick. And if I get really sick I have to go to hospital, which I hate!

Dom, 9, living with Cystic Fibrosis, has been completely transformed since his wish to be Iron Boy came true

"I think my wish was the best day of my life. A helicopter landed right in the park where I was playing and the police said they needed my help urgently! So I went to Police Headquarters, put on my Iron Boy suit and we went straight to Clark Island on the police boat to rescue Make-A-Wish news reporter, Hope Joy.

"Then, I got to save Sydney and defeat Ultron on the steps of the Opera House! The Police Commissioner gave me a Medal of Valour and heaps of people were there cheering. At the end of the day, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr – the real one!) even sent me a message and made me an honorary Avenger."

"If I had a superpower, it would be to help other people. And now I AM Iron Boy, I know I can do anything!"


Scarlett’s wish has made the most incredible difference

Scarlett’s five and living with a rare heart defect. From the moment she was born she’s been fighting to survive. She’s endured it all: infections, viruses, blood clots, heart surgery, oxygen masks and needles.

What Scarlett wished for more than anything in the world was to see a unicorn fly and to taste its rainbow flavoured horn.

So we brought in the experts – visionary animators, talented projectionists, a specialty dessert chef (who knows what unicorn horns should taste like), symphony musicians (who know what music makes unicorns fly), crown makers, unicorn trainers, face painters…the list goes on.

And with a magical night time setting, a crowd of 200 excited guests ready for unicorn spotting, real life fairies and an incredible light show, Scarlett’s wish came to life; and the look of joy on her face said it all.

The impossible had become possible.

“When we’re having a day at home where there’s sadness or Scarlett’s not feeling well, the conversation of a unicorn comes up. It just fixes everything, and I think it will be like that for a very long time,” - Roxanne, Scarlett’s mum.


More about wishes

< What the experts say

< More incredible wish stories

< Apply for a wish