From Our Editors
The very first wish was granted for seven-year-old Chris Greicius in the spring of 1980. Although he'd been diagnosed with life-threatening leukemia, what he wanted more than anything else was "to catch bad guys" with US Customs Agent Tommy Austin. With the help of the Department of Public Safety and several officers, Chris got to live his wish—he received a "Smokey Bear" hat, a uniform, and a badge, and became Arizona's first and only honorary DPS officer. After he passed, the officers who helped make Chris's dream come true got together to form Make-A-Wish Arizona, the founding chapter of an organization that would eventually expand to more than 50 countries around the world.
More than 4,700 wishes later, the Arizona chapter of Make-A-Wish is still going strong. Across the state, 600 volunteers grant wishes for kids ranging in age from 2.5 years to 18 years, all of whom have been diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. Volunteers meet with the kids, their siblings, and parents and help them formulate a wish. In the past, children have wished for everything from becoming a wild animal tamer to marrying Tinkerbell to giving their mom her dream wedding, but a commonality runs through each: a granted wish helps spread joy.