Blue Cross partners with Make-A-Wish Canada to grant 6,000 wishes over five years
Blue Cross

Blue Cross partners with Make-A-Wish Canada to grant 6,000 wishes over five years

TORONTO — Blue Cross has announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with Make-A-Wish Canada to grant over 6,000 new travel wishes to over 26,000 wish kids and their families over the next five years.

According to Make-A-Wish Canada’s CEO, Meaghan Stovel McKnight, this gift-in-kind pledge – the largest gift ever committed to Make-A-Wish Canada – will provide much-needed travel insurance to kids and their families so that they can enjoy worry-free travel.

“An in-kind gift of this magnitude helps to remove uncertainty from the wish granting process and takes care of a significant operational cost associated with granting wishes involving travel,” she said.

“World Wish Day is the annual Make-A-Wish event that recognizes the history of granting life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. This year’s World Wish Day is extra special thanks to this transformational, in-kind gift announcement from Blue Cross, which will allow us to begin granting international travel wishes beyond the U.S. as of April 29 for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic,” added Stovel McKnight.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of Make-A-Wish in Canada, which Blue Cross has been involved with for the last three decades.

On its longstanding relationship with the organization, Tim Bishop, Managing Director, Blue Cross of Canada, said: “By 2027, we will have supported over 130,000 wish kids and their families. Every child should have the opportunity to experience the wonder of travel, and this pledge reinforces our ongoing commitment to Make-A-Wish Canada. We look forward to continuing to make travel wishes a reality and supporting this wonderful organization for years to come.”

Approximately 70% of all granted wishes through Make-A-Wish Canada involve some form of travel, either to a destination or to meet a favourite celebrity. The critical illnesses that qualify kids for a wish can also exclude them from securing travel insurance, making Blue Cross’ gift even more impactful. 

Wish kid Zoeya, for example, recently returned from her wish trip to Walt Disney World. Blue Cross covered her and her family’s travel insurance.

“Zoeya’s had a long recovery from leukemia. Knowing we had travel insurance in place allowed us to relax and focus on our kids, who couldn’t stop smiling for the entire week,” said Zoeya’s mother, Faiza. 

The total number of travel wishes granted or booked across Canada from Oct. 1, 2022 to date is 664. The total number of wishes of all kinds pending across Canada is 4,084. And 119 travel wishes were either granted or booked for children with critical illness in Toronto and Central Ontario from Oct. 1, 2022 to date, followed by 872 wishes of all kinds pending.

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