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The First Wish

Chris Grecius - First WishA boy with a big dream and a bigger heart

Most kids wish for things like candy, video games and toys. But for 7-year-old Christopher James Greicius, all he wanted more than anything in the world was to become a police officer. You see, Chris had a life-threatening illness. Even still, protecting and saving the lives of others was all he hoped for.

The little wish that could, and did

On April 29, 1980 Chris got the surprise of a lifetime. A U.S. Customs Officer, who had become a good friend of the family’s, arranged to take Chris on a helicopter ride around the city of Phoenix, Arizona. It was the most magical experience he ever had. And when Chris’ condition took a turn for the worse only a few days later, his true wish was fulfilled: he was presented with an official Arizona Highway Patrol uniform.

The first wish, but not the last

Chris’s smile lit up the entire hospital room as his uniform hung by his window. Although he passed away a day later, this 7-year-old received the greatest gift of all – his wish was granted and he experienced hope, strength and joy during his battle with cancer. And even better, it served as the inspiration for the largest wish-granting organization in the world. Those officers who made Chris’s dream come true realized if they could grant one boy’s wish, then the same could be done for other children.  And so, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® was born.


You can make a wish like Chris’s come true. Click here to find out how.



The First Wish in Canada

Debbie - First Canadian Wish

Two big hearts, one great cause

In 1983, Nigel Brown and Robb Lucy from British Columbia made history by establishing the first Canadian chapter of Make-A-Wish®. After being moved and inspired by the work that had been done by the organization in the United States, Nigel and Robb started a small committee in Canada to help grant the wishes of more children with life-threatening medical conditions.


A wish comes true, more lives are changed

A 13-year-old girl named Debbie, who was suffering with leukemia, wished to go visit her grandparents in Germany. When Nigel and Robb heard about her story, they paid for the trip personally, and Debbie’s wish was fulfilled. Debbie was given a chance to enjoy a heart-warming and intimate experience with her family before she passed away. But the joy and love she received in that time didn’t go unwarranted.  As a result of Debbie’s wish, Make-A-Wish® Canada took off and kept running.


Here today, more wishes granted tomorrow

Today, more than 5,200 wishes have been granted to children across Canada over the past 30 years. Since 1983, regional Chapters have been established from coast-to-coast in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, London, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.


And it’s with the help of generous people like you that more magical wishes will continue to be fulfilled.


You can make a wish like Debbie’s come true. Click here to find out how.


The First Wish in Southern Alberta

Make-A-Wish® Foundation of Southern Alberta was founded in 1995 by Dave and Carol Stinton. Dave heard about Make-A-Wish® at a conference in Vancouver and was so touched that when he headed home to Calgary he began his journey with Make-A-Wish®. The first wish was granted to a 5 year old girl from Medicine Hat. She wanted a purple playhouse because she liked Barney, and a wagon so that when she couldn't walk her brother could pull her in the wagon to her playhouse.

You can make a wish like this come true. Click here to find out how.

Our Story

All his life, Christopher James Greicius dreamed of becoming a police officer. In his eyes, the police represented strength, power, and the goodness in life. Chris' dream meant more than anything to him, but even he couldn't have known that his wish would serve as the inspiration for the largest wish-granting organization in the world.

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Chris Grecius inspired the birth of Make-A-Wish


Have some general questions about Make-A-Wish® Southern Alberta you would like answered? Find out more about our wish-granting mission and organization.

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Our Team

At Make-A-Wish Southern Alberta, we aspire to fulfill our mission – to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. We combine our professionalism with our passion and put them into action to improve the lives of children and families across Canada.

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Annual Reports

Read our annual reports to learn more about our wish granting efforts, our corporate partnerships and our mission, and for up-to-date financial information about how we use your donations to grant magical wishes.

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If you’re looking for a job that will change your life and the lives of so many others, then we welcome you to consider applying to Make-A-Wish® Southern Alberta.

Search here for current opportunities.

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Contact Us

If you have any questions about volunteering, our organization, programs, donations, partnerships, or for more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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