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Make-A-Wish Michigan celebrates 35th Anniversary


January 30, 2019

Brighton, Mich., January 2019 – Make-A-Wish® Michigan granted its first wish 35 years ago today - on January 30, 1984 - to 11-year-old Joshua from Tecumseh, who had a malignant brain tumor and wished to visit Walt Disney World® Resort.

This year, Make-A-Wish Michigan celebrates its 35th Anniversary – a special celebration of wish granting in Michigan and an opportunity to honor donors, volunteers and other supporters who have helped transform lives, one wish at a time.

First Wish
Joshua’s family moved to Michigan two years prior to his wish, and he became ill a short time later. At first his family thought it was the flu, until he lost his balance one morning walking down the steps. It was then that doctors discovered the tumor. Joshua’s diagnosis was followed by three surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Joshua’s mom had heard of Make-A-Wish through her family in Nevada, and contacted the month-old local chapter, Make-A-Wish Michigan, which was headquartered in Traverse City at the time.

 “Just really, to say thank you… it’s not really enough,” Joshua’s mom, Carol, told a local newspaper at the time of his wish.

35th Anniversary Celebration  
That first year, Make-A-Wish Michigan granted 15 wishes. Since then the organization has granted more than 9,500 life-changing wishes to Michigan kids with critical illnesses.

“We are privileged to celebrate 35 years of wish granting in Michigan,” said Karen Davis, Make-A-Wish Michigan president & CEO. “Thirty-five years of granting life-changing wish experiences to courageous Michigan children is only possible through the remarkable passion, generosity and continued support of donors, volunteers, medical professionals, corporate friends and others in our Michigan community. Our supporters and partners have helped make transformational wishes come true for nearly 10,000 children throughout our great state.”

During 2019, we will share inspiring stories of our wish kids from throughout the decades, including a celebration of our 10,000th wish this spring, and profile the incredible efforts of volunteers, donors, corporate friends, medical professionals and supporters who have helped to transform the lives of Michigan wish kids. As we look toward the future, it is only through continued community support that we will be able to reach more Michigan children and grant wishes that transform the lives of our wish kids and families.

Our 35th Anniversary will be celebrated throughout 2019 with our signature events, including Wish Ball, Walk For Wishes®, and the Wish-A-Mile® Bicycle Tour - as well as other special events and activities that will highlight wish kids and honor those whose deep commitment to our mission has been key to our ability to create life-changing moments for so many Michigan families.

Since 1984, Make-A-Wish® Michigan has granted more than 9,500 wishes to Michigan children with critical illnesses. Based in Brighton, Mich., with an office in Grand Rapids, Make-A-Wish Michigan is funded through community support. 80 percent of each dollar supports the Michigan wish-granting program. Visit to learn more.

Press Contact

Sherri Collins
VP of Marketing
7600 Grand River Avenue Suite 175
Brighton, MI  48114

Phone : (810) 522-6511
Fax : (734) 994-8025

Make-A-Wish® Michigan
7600 Grand River Avenue
Suite 175
Brighton, MI 48114
(734) 994-8620
Toll Free Michigan Only (800) 622-9474
Make-A-Wish® Michigan, Grand Rapids Office
648 Monroe Ave NW
Suite 104
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 363-4607
Toll Free (877) 631-9474