Friday, March 9, 6 p.m., Hyatt Regency Cincinnati
The heartfelt experience of a local wish kid coupled with independent research from a pediatric specialist will be the focus of the 2018 Make-A-Wish Ohio Kentucky & Indiana BIG Wish Gala. An event fundraising goal of $260,000 has been set to help make wishes come true for at least 45 children battling critical illnesses in Southern Ohio.
Dr. Anup Patel, section chief of pediatric neurology and director of the Complex Epilepsy Clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, decided to conduct an academic research study of the physical and financial outcomes of a wish journey after observing the impact of a wish on patients.
Wish kid Adrian, of the Cincinnati area, battled sickle cell disease and wanted to visit Hawaii with his family. The experience had such an impact that he recently asked to serve as CEO of the organization for a day to learn how he can help grant the wishes of other kids. Adrian’s mother will be the evening’s keynote speaker.
One reason Patel joined the Make-A-Wish America Advisory Board was to increase medical provider awareness of the benefits of a granted wish on eligible kids. Currently, only half of the eligible kids experience a wish.
During the gala, Bridget Kikta, a social worker at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, will be honored as Medical Professional of the Year. She has referred 40 children to Make-A-Wish since 2014. The evening also will include live and silent auctions, with prizes including a goldendoodle puppy, a playset from Recreations Outlet, a Braxton Brewing experience and a trip to Costa Rica.
Gala tickets are $150. Capital Investment Group is the presenting sponsor.