Granting wishes for terminal patients

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Many people have heard of Make a Wish, the national organization that grants wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. But there is a local charity that does a similar service for adults.

Wish Granters gives adults with a terminal illness a chance to see or do something special they might otherwise not be able to afford.

Doug Raper spent twelve years working to grant wishes for sick children, but realized that there was a need for a similar program for adults. So three years ago he started Wish Granters, which gives terminally ill adults in Ada and Canyon counties the chance to realize a dream.

His organization granted its first wish in December 2010 and they'll be doing their 81st wish this weekend, sending a couple to the Geyser Grand Hotel in Baker City.

"It's really important to understand when you are talking about a terminal illness, the illness doesn't just impact the individual, it impacts the whole family, and so does the wish. You see that a lot of times the person will wish for something that is for the family rather than just for themselves," says Raper.

In the past three years Wish Granters has sent people to Washington D.C., New York City, Disneyland, and one man just wanted to go to the state fair with his wife. One woman wanted to have a tree planted in her sister's backyard in remembrance of her.

"We had another man who had terminal cancer who wanted to go to dinner with his wife at a restaurant here in town. We had them picked up in a limo and taken and they had a great time. We lost him four days after that wish that's how close it can be sometimes," says Raper.

Time is something Wish Granters can't afford to waste. That's why next month, the non-profit is holding a walk to raise the much needed cash to help bring light into the lives of those whose time on earth is short.

"We come into their life at a really tough time. They are facing the end of their life in a very short period of time. We're trying to make a dream come true for them and for their family members before it's too late," says Raper.

You can help grant those wishes for people right here in the Treasure Valley and all you have to do is walk.

"From Dark to Dawn - A Walk to Remember" will take place on April 6 at Kleiner park in Meridian. It starts at 6 am while it's still dark and walkers will finish just as the sun rises.

Our own morning anchors Alana Brophy and Rick Douglas will emcee this very special event.

For more information click here