Being a father to healthy children is something Bob Brennan does not take for granted, especially after seeing the struggles families face when their children are battling life-threatening conditions. Bob first started working with Make-A-Wish® Foundation in 2005. He trained as Wish Grantor and has had the privilege of playing a hands-on role in making several children’s dreams come true. In addition, Bob was asked to serve as a member of the organization’s newly created Advisory Board, a role he held for three years, giving him even more opportunities to be involved and bring joy to the lives of sick children and their families.
Bob says that every time he meets Wish children, he’s deeply touched by their positive spirit, despite the gravity of the health challenges they face. Wishes, he says, usually fall into one of the following categories: “I wish to go…”, “I wish to be…,” “I wish to meet…,” “I wish to have…,” or “I wish to give….” And while these wishes can be grandiose—one child wished to meet Adam Sandler at Disney World—he says what the kids most often want is to spend time with their families and friends. By working to make the big wishes come true, Bob feels the organization makes a powerful and lasting impact that can positively influence the child’s overall health. He says the entire family benefits from the experience, too. The child who wished to meet Adam Sandler, for example, keeps a scrapbook filled with memories of his time with the actor, and they still call each other on their birthdays. “While I do not have empirical evidence to support it, I wholeheartedly believe that little boy’s healthcare battle and subsequent recovery was strengthened by his wish,” Bob says.
Over the years, Bob has served Make-A-Wish Foundation in many capacities, including his advisory role, acting as a guide for Wish Families navigating airports on their way to a wish, and volunteering for various fundraising events.