How To Refer a Child To Make-A-Wish Orlando

It’s always difficult to watch a child struggle with the effects of a critical illness. It’s even harder when that child is a close friend, family member, or a patient that you’re responsible for.

At Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida, we’ve seen firsthand the difference that a wish can make in the life of a critically ill child. It might seem frivolous, but parents and medical professionals time and time again have shared the ways that wishes have made children happier, more optimistic, and more compliant with necessary treatments.

There’s no doubt about it: granting wishes changes lives. But we can’t do it alone.


Who Is Eligible for a Wish?

To qualify for a wish, children must meet the following criteria:

  • Between the ages of 2½ and 18
  • Diagnosed with a critical illness (i.e. progressive, degenerative, or malignant condition that is placing the child’s life in jeopardy)
  • Have not received a wish from another wish-granting organization


Wish Kid Timothy dressed as a pirate

Who Can Refer a Child to Make-A-Wish?

As important as they are, wish experiences always take a back seat to the child’s health, safety, and wellbeing. Because of this, we only accept referrals from those who are intimately acquainted with the nature of the child’s condition.

Children may be referred to Make-A-Wish by:

  • Themselves
  • Parents or legal guardians
  • Family members with detailed knowledge of the child’s condition
  • Medical providers (doctor, nurse, social worker, or child-life specialist)

However, even if none of these apply to you, we’d still love to hear from you! If you are not a member of the child’s family or medical team, submit a request.

Throughout the process, all medical information will be kept confidential. We only share information about the child’s diagnosis and/or condition if it is required in order to grant the wish and the child’s legal guardians have given consent.


How To Refer a Child to Make-A-Wish Orlando

To help us grant as many wishes as possible, we’ve made referring a child to Make-A-Wish very easy!

Our referral forms are located on our website so you can fill them out from anywhere. Simply choose the correct form based on your relationship to the child (family, medical team, or request for additional information).

You will need the following information in order to complete the form:

  • Contact information for the child/legal guardian
  • Child’s date of birth
  • Child’s medical condition
  • Contact information for the treating medical professional (name, phone number, treatment facility)

Once the referral has been submitted, our dedicated team will confirm that the child meets all eligibility requirements.


Wish Kid Edwin with his amazing gifts

What Happens Next?

The child will meet with one of our Wish Discovery Volunteers to make their wish!

When the world is your oyster, we understand that it can be overwhelming to pinpoint the perfect wish. Our volunteers have been trained to ask detailed questions about the child’s likes and dislikes to come up with a few potential ideas.

That’s right! Wish Discovery Volunteers will work with the child and their family to select roughly three potential wishes.

This is when our team of board members, volunteers, and donors gets to work selecting the final wish. Of course, it’s important to make this experience special, so we often host a reveal party to let the child know which wish will be granted.


You Can Make a Difference

Since 1994, Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida has granted 7,000 wishes.

If you know of a critically ill child that would benefit from having their wish come true, we would love to hear about them! We have an amazing team of board members, leaders, supporters, and volunteers who are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of these incredible children.

Click here to refer a child to Make-A-Wish, donate, or become a volunteer to help us in this life-changing work.