Make a wish: The top 5 requests from children and adults facing the end of life

In the News | May 8, 2017

Patients with terminal illnesses often find meaning by crossing off items from their bucket lists. And they may even reap health benefits.

In the US, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants children their wishes. The Dream Foundation does the same for adults with later-stage terminal illnesses.

Here are the top five requests the charities receive:


1. Help paying for basic needs: Many adults with terminal illnesses face financial hardships that put even small comforts beyond reach: air conditioners, for instance, or scooters, or lift chairs. Many also ask for help paying a utility bill, to keep the lights on and power their medical devices.

2. A vacation: Hawaii is the top choice, but national parks are in high demand as well.

3. Travel to a family reunion: Patients often request help paying for travel, food, and accommodations so they can say their last goodbyes.

4. Tickets to Disneyland: Adults love the Magic Kingdom nearly as much as kids, and often seek a final trip to the theme park billed as the “happiest place on Earth.”

5. A day on the town: Many patients ask for simpler pleasures: a day at the spa or a dinner at a favorite restaurant.