HOW IT ALL BEGAN
For 12 years I worked as the Director of Program Services for the world’s largest wish-granting organization. I can honestly say that this was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. I had the privilege to meet so many wonderful children and their families, and I also witnessed pain and sorrow from families whose children relapsed from cancer and families whose child lost their battle with cancer.
I was often asked by families of a child whose cancer had returned if the child could receive another wish. When the child has the thought of receiving a wish on their mind, it gives them something to focus on other than being sick. Something to look forward to when they are feeling bad from their chemo or radiation treatments. There are only a handful of foundations across the world that offer a second wish to a child, currently, we are the only one in the state of Tennessee that offers this service.
Childhood cancer not only places a huge emotional burden on the family, but it is also a huge financial burden. I've learned that sometimes it is the simplest thing that can put a smile on a child's face. I want to give these children something to look forward to…a wonderful memory for the entire family… something to help them get through their chemo and radiation treatments. Studies show that health care professionals who treat children with cancer believe that giving the child something to look forward to such as a wish or dream can improve their physical health and be a positive turning point in their battle.
My goal is to make a difference in these kids'
lives and to bring them happiness during these
difficult times…..with your help, that’s what we
will do. - Tanya Sturm, Founder
Dreams and Wishes of Tennessee was inspired by
these two angels - Devin Harris and Savannah Swandall.