By the time the president of Make-A-Wish Oklahoma finished speaking at the Rotary Club of Altus Tuesday, three Rotarians raised their hands to become wish granters.
President and CEO Bradley Barghols told the crowd how he became involved in the organization that grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
He talked about how his son was diagnosed with leukemia and how the organization eventually granted him a wish to spend a day with pro football hall-of-famer LaDainian Tomlinson while he was still playing.
His son survived and is doing well today, but fulfilling that wish kept his son’s hope alive.
Following his presentation, Rotary President Mary Beth Tischler announced that she had become a volunteer wish granter because she learned of an Altus fifth grade student who was recently diagnosed with stage IV stomach cancer.
After submitting a packet of information to become a wish granter, she went to Oklahoma City for a three-hour training session. She and Dr. Lindsey King, a local pediatrician, are the only trained wish granters in the southwest part of the state.
She said she’s on a mission to get more volunteers trained because the organization requires at least two trained volunteers to grant a wish.
Tischler said she knows of two children in Lawton and one in Altus who have life-threatening diseases. Their loved ones have contacted the Make-A-Wish Oklahoma foundation to see about granting wishes.
Tischler and Barghols asked Rotarians if they would consider becoming wish granters. The foundation pays for the wishes, the volunteers perform the logistics of making the wish come true, Barghols said.
Three people from Rotary agreed to get trained and two teachers in the district have expressed interest in the training as well. Tischler said if at least seven people sign up for the training, the trainer may come to Altus.
She said when volunteers first meet with the child or his or her family, that is when they learn of the specific wish. You can go to Oklahoma.wish.org to find our more information or call the office at (405) 286-4000.
If you or someone you know might be interested in receiving grant-wisher training, contact Tischler at (580) 318-6279.