Make-A-Wish grants 4,000th wish at event at MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital

November 22, 2022
Kiana stands proud with her MUSC Care Team and the Make-A-Wish South Carolina Team.
Kiana stands proudly with her MUSC Care Team and the Make-A-Wish South Carolina Team. Photo provided

It was a ceremony fit for a princess on Thursday afternoon just outside of the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital –  a party complete with balloons, candy, cookies and a cake decorated with the characters from Disney’s “Frozen.” The occasion was a reunion, send off and above all else, a celebration. A young cancer patient, now in remission for the past year, was the recipient of Make-A-Wish South Carolina’s 4,000th wish – a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Kiana was the guest of honor at Thursday’s ceremony. The 7-year-old girl from Walterboro was nominated for Make-A-Wish three years ago as she battled leukemia. “She represents a lot of our kids in South Carolina,” said Misty Farmer, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish South Carolina. “Hundreds of children have been waiting for their wishes because of the pandemic.”

“I’m cancer-free,” Kiana announced to her supporters at the wish reveal, which was met with joyous applause. She and her family feel that they have a lot to be thankful for and will head to Walt Disney World over the Thanksgiving holiday. Even though she was offered the chance to change her wish to something she could have enjoyed during the pandemic, Kiana had her heart set on going to Disney World and meeting Minnie Mouse and Princess Elsa. Thanks to donors from across the Palmetto State, including MUSC, that wish is now a reality.

This is the first year MUSC has partnered with Make-A-Wish, meaning they can now host a wish granting ceremony at the Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, which refers more patients to Make-A-Wish than any hospital in the state. “A lot of folks don't realize that we work very collaboratively with our medical community,” Farmer said. “We want the introduction of that wish experience to be at the most beneficial time for that child as a part of their medical journey. We feel like we're part of the prescription for the kids by partnering with our community like this.”

Make-A-Wish South Carolina has been granting wishes for 38 years, and Kiana’s wish marks the 4,000th for the organization, which is on track to grant over 250 in 2022.

Jacqueline Kraveka, M.D., said she’s seen firsthand the impact a wish can have on her patients. “These kids go through so much, and these wishes are so great for them,” she said. “Usually at the end of the treatment or when they’re doing well, I’ve seen kids go to Hawaii. I had another patient who wanted to be a writer in Hollywood, and he went to Hollywood. They’re very accommodating and are really just there for the kids.”

Kraveka explained that the wishes can also make a difference for her team of caregivers as well. “We're there, oftentimes, when the kids are so sick. To see them well, to see them thriving and to see them having great experiences with their family is so awesome.”

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