The Power of a Wish Lasts a Lifetime


Ryan was born with a blood disorder, and although he is able to live a normal life with proper supplements, he has always taken his condition quite seriously. Ryan is now 24 years old and remembers how his wish experience helped him cope with his diagnosis.


In 2000, Ryan’s life changed forever when he was given the chance to have his wish granted. “Becoming a wish kid helped me recognize the severity of my condition,” explained Ryan. “But it also allowed me to realize the positive side of it. It made me feel unique, and I no longer feared being looked down on by others.”


After much deliberation, Ryan wished for a desktop computer, complete with a coloured printer, speaker system and resources to help him succeed in school. “I remember playing The Magic School Bus® game, using the online encyclopedia and dictionary programs, and becoming fascinated with the world map that came preloaded,” he said. Ryan’s computer ignited a love of learning, technological discovery and became a source of inspiration in his childhood.


The computer was presented to Ryan by his wish granters, family and friends at a small party at his family home. “To say that I was stoked is an understatement,” says Ryan. “I’ll never forget what it felt like to have my moment in the spotlight. At the time, I was one of few people who had the latest version of Windows 98.”


Ryan credits his wish for setting him up for success at a young age. “My computer helped spark a curiosity for learning that I carry with me to this day.”


“What Make-A-Wish® does for children and their families is extraordinary. Sometimes you don’t realize the impact something has on you until long after.” says Ryan. “The enthusiasm they bring, and how they treat children makes you forget you’re even sick. Even the events they host long after your wish is complete help provide a network of support and encouragement. Their impact truly is immeasurable.”


Ryan is a graduate of Carleton University where he completed his honours bachelor of arts in communication and media studies, with a minor in law. He is currently enrolled in the public relations – corporate communications post-graduate certificate program at Seneca College.


Photography by Sama Abdi