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Can you be too old for Make-A-Wish?

Make-A-Wish Foundation is a well-known nonprofit organization that grants wishes to children with critical illnesses. Their mission is to provide hope, strength, and joy to these children and their families during challenging times. While the organization has helped thousands of children fulfill their dreams, there is often confusion regarding the age eligibility criteria for receiving a wish from Make-A-Wish. In this blog post, we will delve into the specifics of the age restrictions set by Make-A-Wish and explore alternative wish-granting organizations for adults above the age of 18.

Overview of Make-A-Wish Foundation

The Make-A-Wish Foundation was founded in 1980 and has since become one of the world’s leading wish-granting organizations. Its primary goal is to grant wishes to children between the ages of 2 and 18 who have been diagnosed with critical illnesses. The organization believes that providing these children with an opportunity to fulfill their dreams can have a profound impact on their well-being and recovery.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation operates in over 50 countries, with each chapter working independently to meet the unique needs of their local communities. Since its inception, Make-A-Wish has granted millions of wishes, including trips, experiences, meeting celebrities, and fulfilling dreams of becoming superheroes or princesses.

Eligibility for Make-A-Wish

While Make-A-Wish aims to bring joy to as many children as possible, they do have specific eligibility criteria for receiving a wish. One of the key criteria is the age of the wish recipient.

Make-A-Wish defines a child as someone who is between the ages of 2 and 18 at the time of referral. This means that once a child turns 18, they are no longer eligible to receive a wish from Make-A-Wish. This age limit is put in place to ensure that the organization can focus its limited resources on children who are most in need.

The reasons behind the age restriction are primarily related to resource allocation and the unique needs of children with critical illnesses. With limited funding and the overwhelming number of eligible children, Make-A-Wish aims to prioritize the wishes of younger children who may not have the opportunity to live a fulfilling life due to the severity of their illness.

Alternative Wish-Granting Organizations

Although Make-A-Wish does not grant wishes to adults above the age of 18, there are other wish-granting organizations available to fulfill the dreams of these individuals. These organizations cater specifically to adults and provide similar opportunities for wish fulfillment.

Some popular alternatives include Dream Foundation, Twilight Wish Foundation, and My Wish to You. These organizations understand that dreams are not limited to children and aim to bring joy and positivity to adults facing critical illnesses.

The eligibility criteria for these organizations may vary, but they often focus on individuals who are facing life-threatening conditions. By granting wishes to adults, these organizations provide moments of happiness and respite in their challenging lives.

Relevance and Impact of Make-A-Wish

The impact of Make-A-Wish on children with critical illnesses and their families cannot be overstated. The fulfillment of a wish can bring immense joy, hope, and strength to these children, helping them in their recovery journeys.

Beyond the immediate happiness experienced by the wish recipient, wish fulfillment has a long-lasting psychological and emotional impact. Studies have shown that the anticipation and fulfillment of a wish can positively influence the well-being and quality of life of these children, even beyond their medical treatment.

Moreover, wish fulfillment extends its positive impact beyond the individual child. Families and communities are also affected by the magic of a wish. It brings a much-needed break from hospital visits, medical treatments, and daily stress, creating precious memories for the entire family. Additionally, witnessing the fulfillment of a wish can uplift the spirits of communities and remind them of the power of kindness and compassion.

The Importance of Age Limitations

While it may seem disappointing that Make-A-Wish has an age limitation, it is essential to understand the reasoning behind it. By focusing on children between the ages of 2 and 18, Make-A-Wish ensures that their resources are allocated efficiently and effectively.

The limited resources of the organization must be distributed among the many eligible children, and setting an age limit helps prioritize and meet the needs of the youngest and most vulnerable recipients. It allows them to reach the children who may not have many years left to live or who require immediate attention due to the severity of their illnesses.

Maintaining the age restriction also ensures the sustainability of Make-A-Wish. By remaining true to their mission and focusing on their target demographic, Make-A-Wish can continue to operate and make a significant difference in the lives of children with critical illnesses.


Make-A-Wish Foundation has helped countless children with critical illnesses achieve their dreams and experience moments of joy and happiness. While the organization has an age restriction of 18, this ensures that they can prioritize the needs of the youngest and most vulnerable wish recipients.

For adults above the age of 18, there are other wish-granting organizations available to fulfill their dreams and bring joy to their lives. These alternative organizations cater specifically to adult wish recipients with critical illnesses.

The impact of wish fulfillment on the lives of children with critical illnesses and their families cannot be underestimated. It provides hope, strength, and much-needed respite from the challenges they face. The magic of a wish extends beyond the individual, bringing communities together and spreading messages of kindness and compassion.

So, while age limitations exist, the mission and purpose of wish-granting organizations like Make-A-Wish continue to make a profound difference in the lives of those they serve.


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