NRF Wish Maker Profile (Oct. 2020)
Wendy's Words of Wisdom & Advice on being a Wish Maker
It's still a bit early for me to have profound "Words of Wisdom" and to be giving others "Advice". But I do think, as a Wish Maker, you need to have kindness, empathy, emotional strength, honesty, tenacity, and a bit of stubbornness. Sometimes it will take a lot to get through to the people you need to communicate with, but you've just got to keep on it.
And, as a new Wish Maker, it's GREAT to know you're not alone! The founder of Nik's Wish, Kelli Ritschel Boehle, has been, and continues to be my mentor. What can I say about this incredible lady! When I first met Kelli, I could not understand how she could do what she did after the loss of her son, Nik. Kelli is a force all on her own and always smiling.
To me, the time needed to fulfill a wish doesn't matter; I will do whatever I can to make that wish a reality. Compared to the extremely grueling time a young adult spends fighting cancer, my time spent on fulfilling their wish means nothing.
For me, the most challenging thing about being a Wish Maker is the loss. While you have to keep some distance from the Wisher (young adult cancer warrior) and their Wish Family, it's hard not to connect with them on some level. My first Wisher's passing was difficult for me because I really cared for her and her family.
In my brief experience as a Wish Maker, I've found the most rewarding thing is knowing my efforts resulted in making the Wisher smile; it's such a feel-good sensation!
For many, it's really hard to see these young men and women going through their cancer battles, knowing that their time on Earth is limited. But for me, I see the same young adults and want them to be happy, to be in a good place, at least for a little while; and that's what drives me. If I knew my time was limited, I think I'd be doing things differently and not caring so much about the little things. Kelli nailed it when she came up with BRING JOY, because that's just what we're here to do.
As of October, 2020, I've been a Wish Maker for just 8 months. I've fulfilled 3 wishes so far. All 3 started out as travel-wishes; but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all 3 wishes changed to something more doable during this unusually difficult time.