Fiscal Year 2019
For years, 11-year-old Tristan has piloted his imaginary “Infinity Airlines” flights wherever he is: in his bedroom, backyard, or spending a long night within the four white walls of his hospital room undergoing treatment for a rare heart and lung condition. It’s his dream to be a pilot and start an airline that will fly anywhere and everywhere.
Each moment Tristan spends in his imaginary airplane soaring high above the clouds or studying his flight simulator app is an escape from the realities of therapies, exhaustion and many unknowns that come with pulmonary hypertension.
That’s why, when Tristan found out he’d receive a wish experience from Make-A-Wish, the choice was easy: he wanted to be an airline pilot.
“It’s fun, you get to fly all over the world, you get to hear the engine sounds, you get to see all kinds of scenery,” Tristan said as he listed the reasons he wanted to become a pilot. “You get to meet lots of different people; I get to meet the pilots and ask them questions.”
Wishes fill a vital need for children, like Tristan, facing critical illnesses. Research shows, and physicians agree, that wishes have the potential to give kids the hope and strength they need to fight harder. For children battling a critical illness, a wish can give them and their families the chance to believe anything is possible.
That’s exactly what Tristan and his family found when they arrived at Alaska Airlines Flight Operations for Tristan’s wish. Inside, Tristan received his official pilot identification card, a welcome letter and an official uniform. Then, it was off to work for Alaska Airlines’ newest pilot.
He went through onboarding and paired up with Captain Scott Day, chief pilot, and Captain Jeff Severns, director of training. As the trio reviewed manuals, the young aviation buff listed the airplane models in Alaska Airlines’ fleet. He visited flight dispatch, where he spoke to pilots in the air. He even sat down and chatted pilot-to-pilot with Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden.
And while Tristan experienced every aspect of being a pilot, his wish experience gave him and his family so much more.
“We completely forgot about everything—all of the health issues, the medical issues we have to deal with every day, and we just went into another world,” said Tristan’s mom, Ebru.
Wishes give kids hope today so they can look forward to tomorrow. For Tristan, that meant realizing his dream doesn’t have to be just that.
“Tristan’s wish gave him the confidence he can actually be a pilot,” said Ebru. “It gave him hope for the future and a boost of self-confidence … it changed his outlook completely.”
“The things I can do, there’s no limit,” said Tristan.
You can help kids like Tristan see the impossible as possible when you invest in our mission.
Wishes for kids like Tristan are possible because donors and volunteers like you believe in the power of a wish. You help wish kids rise above their illnesses. Last year, because of you:
We take pride in our stewardship of our financial resources, leveraging generous philanthropic support with donated goods and volunteer services. Of every dollar spent in the fiscal year 2019, 73 cents went directly to granting wishes for children with critical illnesses.
Our annual financial statements are audited by the independent auditing firm CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, and are available upon request at no charge. To receive a copy of the 2019 fiscal year audited financial statements or our 990 report, please contact us at 800.304.WISH.
|as of 8/31/2019|
|Revenues, Gains and Other Support||$9,050,000|
|Management and General||$1,030,000|
In the 2019 fiscal year, many caring individuals made a legacy gift to our chapter through their estate plans, totaling $126,800.
Special thanks to Tristan and his family for being the stars of our FY19 Gratitude Report. Thanks also to Alaska Airlines and Make-A-Wish Idaho for giving Tristan the opportunity to fulfill his one true, heartfelt wish; to Hero Creative for capturing video; and to Ingrid Barrentine for the photos from Tristan’s wish.