(BPT) – This past July marks one year for Jack. Just one year ago, the 15-year-old was unable to go outside — he was bound to his home because of his blood disorder. He missed time with friends, school and sports. A bone marrow donation was his only hope, but matches sometimes aren’t easy to find, particularly for those of Asian heritage. So, Jack waited patiently — nine months to be exact — until thankfully a match was found.
Now Jack wants to help others who are waiting — to pay it forward. When volunteers from Make-A-Wish® met with Jack to identify his wish, he wanted to help others like him. He used his wish to be a bone marrow donation spokesperson and record a PSA encouraging others to sign up for Be The Match. As the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, Make-A-Wish grants life-changing wishes for children battling critical illnesses.
“I’m alive today because someone like you decided to save the life of someone they didn’t even know,” said Jack. “I want to help people who weren’t as lucky as I was.”
When Jack made his wish, little did he know the turnout of support he’d receive. Thanks to a charitable donation by Bristol-Myers Squibb to Make-A-Wish, the organization was able to make Jack’s wish become a reality. For the second consecutive year, Bristol-Myers Squibb made a seven-figure charitable funding contribution to Make-A-Wish. The company’s generosity has helped Make-A-Wish provide transformational wishes for children with critical illnesses, like Jack, across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam.
Make-A-Wish teamed up with Dana Nachman, the filmmaker who created “Batkid Begins,” to bring Jack’s vision and PSA to life. Then in spring 2018, Jack, along with nearly 100 people gathered in a local movie theater to watch the premiere of Jack’s PSA. Highlights of the PSA include many of the activities Jack can do again, thanks to his transplant: cooking with his friends (one of his hobbies), playing basketball, walking his dog and biking around the neighborhood.
Jack’s goal is to secure 430 new registrants to help save a life just like his was saved. For every 430 people who sign up through Be The Match (join.bethematch.org/jack), one goes on to be a donor. Thanks to the support of Make-A-Wish, donors like Bristol-Myers Squibb and Jack’s community, more lives have the potential to be transformed. That’s the transformational power of wishes. Visit wish.org to learn how wishes can help make the impossible possible for children battling critical illnesses.