MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION I. Introduction A. As children I'm sure all of us had a completely different idea of what we wanted to be when we grew up then what we're doing now. How many people wanted to be a baseball player?"¦movie star?"¦race car driver?"¦What about a police officer? What would it have meant to you as a child to actually become a professional baseball player, movie star, race car driver, or police officer, at that point in your life.
1. Lead in example 1. This is a picture of seven-year old Chris Greicius of Phoenix, Arizona. Chris's idols were Ponch and Jon from the television show "CHIPS," and he himself always dreamed of becoming a police officer. Chris' wish of becoming a police officer was the biggest thing in the world to him. Many children have plenty of time to realize their dreams as they grow up, but Chris didn't have the luxury of time. You see, Chris had leukemia and his prognosis was not good. On April 29, 1980 Chris' wish was granted. A police helicopter flew Chris over the Phoenix area where three squad cars and a motorcycle awaited his arrival. Chris was then sworn in as an honorary patrolman. Chris also received a custom-tailored patrolman uniform and a battery-powered motorcycle. Some of the officers would take time away from their busy schedules to spend time with Chris and share a pack of bubble gum with him. Chris' wish had been granted, and he became known to his fellow officers as the "Bubble Gum Trooper." 2. Preview 1. Chris' story led to the development of a program that would go on to grant many other children with terminal or life-threatening illnesses the fulfillment of one of their wishes. This program became known as the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
2. There are many children diagnosed with terminal illnesses or life threatening conditions every day in this country. Today I hope to share with you the extent to which the Make-A-Wish Foundation can help these children and how you personally can help contribute to a child's wish coming true.
II. Conditions/Statistics A. Cancer 1. Most all of us have known someone who has passed away due to cancer, and many here may have had childhood friends that were diagnosed with cancer growing up. Cancer is the leading cause of death from disease in children. Each year cancer kills more children than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies, and AIDS combined.
2. One out of every 330 children in the United States develops cancer before the age of 19.
3. The incidence of cancer among children is rising almost 1% per year and has increased 20% in the last 20 years. Approximately 11,000 children per year are diagnosed. Approximately 2,300 will die within the year. This is all according to the National Childhood Cancer Foundation.
4. Some forms of childhood cancer have proven to be so resistant that even in spite of the great research strides we have made, most of these children die.
B. AIDS 1. In the United States it is estimated that 2 children are infected with HIV every hour, as reported by Youth Report 2000 of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.
2. Many children are born with the HIV virus due to parents who are infected. These children have incredibly low immune systems at a very critical time in their lives, which leads to other life-threatening illnesses.
C. Summary 1. The fact is that there are many children that will never get to go through the experience of growing up. Many of these children understand the severity of their situation, and realize that they may never get to live out their dreams. This is where the Make-A-Wish Foundation can make a world of difference in these children's lives.
III. Make-A-Wish Foundation A. Facts 1. It is the largest wish-granting organization in the world, with 81 chapters in the United States and its territories, and 22 international affiliates on five continents.
2. Since being founded in 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has granted a wish to every...
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