ML - Vegas Magazine

2013 - Issue 7 - November

Vegas Magazine - Niche Media - There is a place beyond the crowds, beyond the ropes, where dreams are realized and success is celebrated. You are invited.

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Page 106 of 131

LINDA RICHARDSON: MAKING WISHES COME TRUE Linda Richardson met one of her first Make-A-Wish children more than 15 years ago, and that little girl made an impression—to the extent that Richardson has, over the years, granted a wish per month to a critically ill child. "My daughter had come home from college and she came to volunteer with me," she says. "You have several initial interviews with the child and their family." The little girl, who had lost her hair to chemotherapy, was wearing a wig during their first two visits, but Richardson didn't notice until the third visit: "She felt so comfortable with us by then, she just took it off." Richardson had always been involved with children's charities, she says, but Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada struck a chord: "I have two very healthy children. And I was seeing families who don't have a lot, who take buses to treatment and aren't feeling sorry for themselves." But wishes from Make-A-Wish are not only for the sick kids; the whole family gets to go along. (The most common wish is a trip to Disneyland or a Disney cruise, but a visit with the pope has also been requested—and granted.) Sometimes time is of the essence when you're a wish granter. "We've had children that we've had to grant the wish in the hospital because they weren't going to make it," like the time Donnie Wahlberg flew in to meet a child in his hospital room, she recalls. Just granting one wish can be a game changer, Richardson says. "We're able to do something for some of these families that they'd never be able to do themselves, and a lot of times it prolongs the child's health." Plus, it takes the burden off the family. "When a child is critically ill, everyone's focus is on illness, and often the siblings are left on the outskirts. We're able to include everyone." V VEGASMAGAZINE.COM 105 096-105_V_F_VegasGives_Nov13.indd 105 10/23/13 10:59 AM

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