Claudia Gonzalez Egelhoff
NRF Wish Maker Profile (Jan. 2020)
Claudia's Words of Wisdom & Advice on being a Wish Maker
Being a Wish Maker is not easy, but the rewards far outweigh the difficulties. I love receiving feedback and pictures from the Wishers/young-adult-cancer-warriors as they experience their Wish. With all its ups and downs, I wouldn't trade my Wish Maker experience for anything.
Each Wish is unique; you truly don't know what's coming.
The hardest part is the initial, ice-breaking introduction to the Wisher, which the Wish Maker must initiate.
You definitely need to be flexible, empathetic, and patient as a Wish Maker.
It's easy to get too close to the Wisher; you have to decide how much you're going to get involved. Sometimes you may be the only friendly voice they have to talk to; especially if they've been sent far from home for specialized treatments at some big, pediatric cancer hospital. You need to set limits and establish a kind of invisible wall to protect yourself as a Wish Maker.
The focus must be on the Wisher's joy, not the Wish Maker's joy; things won't always turn out as you expect.
You must be POSITIVE. In communicating, you need to be the LIGHT of JOY, HOPE, and OPPORTUNITY for a desperately needed break from their grueling cancer treatment routine. I strive to have my Wishers know that if I'm contacting them, it's with GOOD News!
I always desire to coordinate the Wish directly with the Wisher, but often I end up making arrangements through a parent or relative; especially if the Wish is to be a surprise. That interaction can be challenging and frustrating at times.
Other Wish Makers, like Kelli Ritschel Boehle, have been Wish-Savers, taking over on short notice when circumstances prevented me from being able to help the Wisher. So, it's very reassuring to know you're not alone as a Wish Maker.
My own wish is that someday soon cures for cancer will eliminate the need for Wish Makers. But until then, we really need your help as a Wish Maker.