How it all began...
Originating in 1982, A Special Wish Foundation, Inc., has granted over 5,000 “special” wishes in 43 states and the District of Columbia. ASW was the first wish-granting organization in Ohio and the third in the nation at the time. It was founded by Ramona Fickle, a former hospice volunteer, who was concerned about the lack of services for children with life-threatening illnesses.
The first wish was granted to six-year-old Amber Johnson, who watched the Mickey Mouse Club every day and LOVED Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, but her family never dreamed that she would be able to actually meet them in person!
Then in early 1982, Amber was diagnosed with Leukemia, and A Special Wish Foundation had just begun its journey of granting “special” wishes. So, Amber, a Leukemia patient at Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, became ASW’s first wish recipient, and Founder, Ramona Fickle, got to work!
In March of 1982, ASW granted Amber’s wish, and Amber and her family visited her favorite Disney characters, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, at their home at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. This was only the beginning of something “special” . . . of offering hope, enhancing the life of children with life-threatening disorders and enabling their families to gather some lasting memories to cherish in the future.
Today, A Special Wish Foundation is one of the largest wish-granting organizations in the United States, and in the 37 years since Amber’s wish, the Foundation has never turned down a qualifying wish in its home state of Ohio and has granted the “special” wishes of thousands of children with life-threatening disorders across the continental United States!
A Special Wish Foundation is the only major wish-granting organization in the United States that grants wishes to qualifying infants, children, and adolescents from birth through and including the age of 20 years.
To enhance the quality of life for those children having a life-threatening disorder by granting their special wish.
To enhance the quality of life for those infants/children/adolescents who have been diagnosed as having a medical problem which is considered to be life-threatening, and who have not attained the age of 21 years by providing the opportunity for their special wish to be granted.
To lend both emotional and social support to the family of the above-mentioned children by providing the opportunity for them to share in the wish activity, and to enable them to gather some lasting memories to cherish in the future.