Historic pledge allows return to international travel during Make-A-Wish Canada’s 40th anniversary year
TORONTO, ON. April 27, 2023 – In a first-of-its kind agreement with Make-A-Wish Canada, Blue Cross — a long-time supporter of wish granting efforts — will help grant over 6,000 new travel wishes to over 26,000 wish kids and their families over the next five years. This gift-in-kind pledge will provide much-needed travel insurance so that wish kids and their families can enjoy worry-free travel, and marks the largest gift ever committed to Make-A-Wish Canada.
“World Wish Day is the annual Make-A-Wish event that recognizes the history of granting life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses,” said Meaghan Stovel McKnight, CEO, Make-A-Wish Canada. “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.”
2023 also marks the 40th anniversary of Make-A-Wish in Canada, a legacy that Blue Cross has been a part of for the last three decades.
“By 2027, we will have supported over 130,000 wish kids and their families,” said Tim Bishop, Managing Director, Blue Cross of Canada. “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 per cent 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 being able to secure travel insurance, making this gift even more impactful. Blue Cross’s in-kind gift will ensure that thousands of travel wishes are granted over the next five years, by providing comprehensive travel insurance for wish kids and their families.
Wish kid Zoeya recently returned from her wish to go to Walt Disney World and her family’s travel insurance was covered by Blue Cross.
“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 wish mom Faiza.
“We are incredibly excited about the enduring power of this partnership,” said Stovel McKnight. “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. Being able to say ‘yes!’ to international travel wishes again is a significant milestone is our pandemic recovery plan, and we are incredibly grateful to Blue Cross for their commitment and generosity.”
For more information
Kaiser & Partners
About Make-A-Wish® Canada
Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We are on a quest to bring every eligible child’s wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness. As an independently operating affiliate of Make-A-Wish International, Make-A-Wish Canada is part of the network of the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization.
We serve children in every community in Canada and Make-A-Wish affiliates are present in more than 50 countries worldwide. Since 1983, Make-A-Wish Canada has granted over 37,000 wishes across the country, nearly 1,000 last year alone. 2023 is the 40th year of granting wishes in Canada. For more information about Make-A-Wish Canada, visit www.makeawish.ca.
About Blue Cross
The Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans (Blue Cross of Canada) represents the independent Blue Cross Member Plans and Licensees operating in all regions nationally. These include Alberta Blue Cross, Canassurance Blue Cross (Quebec Blue Cross and Ontario Blue Cross), Manitoba Blue Cross, Medavie Blue Cross, Pacific Blue Cross and Saskatchewan Blue Cross. For more information, please visit www.bluecross.ca.