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Make A Wish Foundation

The Make-A-Wish Foundation® Story Inspired by Christopher James Greicius August 8, 1972 - May 3, 1980 Arizona Trooper

In April of 1980, a young boy named Chris was dying from leukemia. A friend knew that Chris wanted to be a motorcycle officer when he grew up. This very special friend spoke to a member of the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) - the Highway Patrol - about Chris.

On April 29,1980, arrangements were made to take Chris for a ride in the Ranger helicopter with a local news reporter and pilot who filmed Chris’ dream coming true. A ride in a police car and an opportunity to drive (with a fellow sergeant assisting) was to follow. To top it all off, Chris got to ride on a motorcycle with sirens blaring. He was personally escorted on a tour of the Department while being carried in the arms of various officers. A few hours later, Christopher was sworn in as the first and only honorary Arizona Highway Patrolman in the state’s history. Complete with a Smokey Bear hat, tour of the radio room, official badge and signed certificate Chris’ comments included "Neato!" and "Hey,that’s my name…Chris Greicius!"

Several days later a custom-made highway patrolman’s uniform was donated to Chris. Patrol cars and motorcycles poured down the street into the driveway to see Chris one more time. Earning his wings was next, as he mounted his battery-powered motorcycle and maneuvered the obstacle course set up in the driveway.

Chris succumbed to the leukemia that had ravaged his body on May 3, 1980. The motorcycle officers decided that full honors were in order for this fallen officer that had so touched them and gave him a police escort at his funeral.

The dreams of this young boy did not die with him, but instead live on in the wishes of thousands of children who suffer from life-threatening illnesses. Christopher and his wish were the inspiration for the Make-A-Wish Foundation®. Since that Spring day in 1980, over 141,000 wishes have been granted. Today, there are 67 chapters in the U.S, Puerto Rico, Guam, and 28 international affiliates. Somewhere in the world, a wish is being granted every 60 minutes by Make-A-Wish.