Wish eligibility

A child must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible to receive a wish from Make-A-Wish UK. Please see below for more information. If you have any questions about the referrals process, please contact our Referrals team on 0118 304 3368 or by email to [email protected].

What are the criteria?

  • The child needs to be a UK resident
  • They must be aged between three and 17 years (inclusive). We can accept an application if we receive it on the child's third birthday, or before their 18th birthday.
  • They must be diagnosed with a critical condition at the point of referral. A ‘critical condition’ does not have to mean life-limiting. You can see the list of conditions that fall into our eligibility criteria below.
  • We can only grant one wish for any child, so a child shouldn't have received a wish from us before or from another wish granting organisation.

Eligible conditions

Click on the relevant category below to view a list of eligible conditions.

Trauma

These illnesses are eligible for a wish

  • 3rd degree burns more than 30% body surface
  • 3rd degree burns between 10% and 50% area when this concerns the face and / or hands
  • Multisystem trauma with permanent disabilities

These illnesses are NOT eligible for a wish

  • 3rd degree burns less than 30% body surface area

Cardiology

These illnesses are eligible for a wish

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy with heart failure
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Primary pulmonary hypertension
  • Chronic pulmonary hypertension if it can lead to a reduction in life expectancy
  • Congenital heart defect with heart failure or ongoing cyanosis
  • Arrhythmias that require an internal defibrillator
  • Hypoplastic left heart
  • Hypoplastic right heart
  • Heart Transplant: Prior to surgery, complications with surgery, or rejections
  • ICD (internal defibrillator)
  • Moyamoya disease
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Eisenmenger syndrome

These illnesses are NOT eligible for a wish

  • Chronic diseases that do not lead to a limitation of life expectancy are not eligible.

Dermatology

These illnesses are eligible for a wish

  • Systemic scleroderma
  • Junctional epidermolysis bullosa(major blistering disease): severe form that can lead to a reduction in life expectancy

These illnesses are NOT eligible for a wish

  • Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa
  • Epidermolysis bullosa (large blister disease): mild form that does not lead to a limitation of life expectancy
  • Chronic diseases that do not lead to a limitation of life expectancy are not eligible.

Gastrointestinal

These illnesses are eligible for a wish

  • Severe short bowel syndrome
  • Liver, pancreas and bowel transplants: Prior to surgery, complications with surgery, or rejections
  • Congenital biliary atresia
  • End stage liver failure, post infectious toxic or vascular
  • Crohn’s disease. Only eligible if the child has experienced emergency or long term hospitalisation

These illnesses are NOT eligible for a wish

  • Chronic diseases that do not lead to a limitation of life expectancy are not eligible.

Genetic

These illnesses are eligible for a wish

  • Alexander disease
  • ARC syndrome
  • DiGeorge syndrome
  • Barth syndrome
  • Chromosomal disorders that can lead to a reduction in life expectancy

Congenital anomaly, chromosomal, or single gene condition with associated life-threatening complications such as:

  • Trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome) and 18 (Edwards syndrome)
  • Intractable seizures
  • Structural upper airway abnormalities or chronic pulmonary symptoms
  • Heart anomalies meeting cardiology guidance
  • Chronic renal failure
  • Associated major gastrointestinal dysfunctions
  • Skeletal dysplasias or dysostoses with chronic or degenerative pulmonary complications

Haematology

These illnesses are eligible for a wish

  • Progressive diseases where there is a real threat of treatment by chemo or bone marrow transplantation
  • Bone marrow transplants: Prior to surgery, complications with surgery, or rejections
  • Thalassaemia major
  • MDS (Myelodysplastic Syndrome)
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Chronic congenital hypoplastic anaemia
  • Aplastic anaemia (Fanconi’s & idiopathic)
  • Severe agranulocytosis

These illnesses are NOT eligible for a wish

  • Chronic diseases that do not lead to a limitation of life expectancy are not eligible

Immunodeficiency

These illnesses are eligible for a wish

  • Immune deficiency if bone marrow transplantation is necessary
  • Bone marrow transplants: Prior to surgery, complications with surgery, or rejections
  • Auto-inflammatory conditions (eg S-JIA) if these cannot be controlled with regular medication
  • Juvenile dermatomyositis provided that it can lead to a limitation of life expectancy
  • Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) if it can lead to a limitation of life expectancy
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) if it can lead to a reduction in life expectancy
  • Systemic scleroderma
  • Vasculitis, if it is a form that can lead to a reduction in life expectancy
  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Congenital immune deficiencies requiring bone marrow transplant causing reduction in life expectancy

These illnesses are NOT eligible for a wish

  • Auto-inflammatory disorders responding well to regular medication
  • Transient forms of vasculitis, e.g. 'Henoch-Schönlein and Kawasaki
  • Chronic diseases that do not lead to a limitation of life expectancy are not eligible.

Renal

These illnesses are eligible for a wish

  • End stage renal failure
  • Long-term dialysis
  • Kidney transplants: Prior to surgery, complications with surgery, or rejections

These illnesses are NOT eligible for a wish

  • Short term dialysis
  • Chronic diseases that do not lead to a limitation of life expectancy are not eligible

Neurology

These illnesses are eligible for a wish

  • Progressive or degenerative neurological disorders
  • Progressive or degenerative myopathy
  • Congenital muscular dystrophy
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Epilepsy, if there is an indication for epilepsy surgery and / or if there are frequent major seizures despite drug treatment.
  • Leigh syndrome
  • Lennox Gastaut syndrome
  • Dravet syndrome
  • Myoclonic encephalopathy
  • Rett syndrome
  • Ataxia telangiectasia
  • Friedreichs ataxia
  • Malignant brain tumours
  • Aicardi syndrome
  • Batten disease
  • Cerebral palsy - if a child has an unsafe swallow, is gastrostomy fed or who has experienced chest infections that have lead to regular hospitalisations
  • Spinal muscular atrophy type 1 & 2

These illnesses are NOT eligible for a wish

  • Spina bifida (without complications that limit life expectancy)
  • Chronic diseases that do not lead to a limitation of life expectancy are not eligible.
  • Autism
  • Global developmental delay
  • Mental health conditions
  • Spinal muscular atrophy type 3

Oncology

These illnesses are eligible for a wish

  • All oncology, if pending or registered within 5 years after the last treatment
  • Bone marrow transplants: Prior to surgery, complications with surgery, or rejections
  • Malignant bone tumours & soft tissue sarcomas
  • Non - Hodgkins lymphoma
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Metastatic solid tumours
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)
  • Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
  • Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)
  • Malignant bone tumours
  • Soft tissue sarcomas
  • Wilms tumour
  • Brainstem tumours
  • Malignant brain tumours

These illnesses are NOT eligible for a wish

  • Oncological patients longer than 5 years after the last treatment

Lung disease

These illnesses are eligible for a wish

  • Complicated, severe bronchiectasis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Lung transplants: Prior to surgery, complications with surgery, or rejections
  • Any chronic lung disease which is likely to reduce life expectancy

These illnesses are NOT eligible for a wish

  • Asthma

Metabolic diseases

These illnesses are eligible for a wish

  • Progressive metabolic disease if it can lead to a reduction in life expectancy
  • Cystinosis
  • Hunter syndrome
  • Hurler syndrome
  • Sanfilippo's syndrome
  • Systemic sclerosis
  • Neimann-pick disease
  • Gaucher’s disease
  • Any with severe progressive neurological involvement

These illnesses are NOT eligible for a wish

  • Metabolic diseases that are not progressive and do not limit life expectancy
  • Chronic diseases that do not lead to a limitation of life expectancy are not eligible
  • Type 1 diabetes

Transplant

These illnesses are eligible for a wish

  • Transplant patients (except skin and corneal transplant)
  • Bone marrow and stem cell transplants: Prior to surgery, complications with surgery, or rejections

These illnesses are NOT eligible for a wish

  • Skin and corneal transplantation

Miscellaneous

These illnesses are eligible for a wish

  • Children with a condition that can lead to a limitation of life expectancy, for example:
  • 24 hour ventilation
  • ICD

These illnesses are NOT eligible for a wish

  • Allergy that may involve an anaphylactic reaction
  • Chronic diseases that do not lead to a limitation of life expectancy are not eligible

Apply for a wish

If a child has been diagnosed with multiple conditions, or has a condition that is not listed above, they may still be eligible for a wish.

If you're supporting a child or young adult who is in need of a wish as soon as possible or you have any questions in regard to whether a condition qualifies for a wish, please contact contact our Referrals team on 0118 304 3368 or by email to [email protected].

Useful resources

Choosing your wish

If you could wish for anything, what would it be? Take a look at some of the wishes we're able to grant.

Read more

The wish journey

Find out more about the journey, from initial referral to the long-term impact of a wish.

The journey

How wishes help

A wish can have a long-lasting positive impact, not only on the child, but also on their family.

How wishes help