Make-A-Wish Foundation & Massage Chair Relief

Make-A-Wish Foundation logo
Make-A-Wish Foundation logo

As I’m sure you are aware, by either watching my Massage Chair Industry Updates or by visiting my site, I am a big fan of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It all began when I was still a practicing chiropractor. We have a local MAW chapter here in Utah which I approached many years ago to see if we could sponsor a Wish Child through my practice. It was an incredibly humbling and rewarding experience, for myself and staff and patients, the culmination of which was an emotional meeting our Wish Child. I have been hooked ever since.

When I began my massage chair company in 2005, I again committed to being involved with Make-A-Wish. I began by personally donating a portion of every one of my massage chair sales to this wonderful foundation and, in two instances, actually providing massage chairs to Wish Children from other local chapters who’s wishes included wanting a massage chair.

We don’t have specific Wish Children anymore but the funds we donate are used in whatever capacity, for whatever Wish Child, they deem necessary. To date we have donated close to $60,000 to the MAW Foundation! Thank you for your help. Without this massage chair business and your continued patronage, we couldn’t have done what we’ve done. You can visit my page, with it’s updated donation amount, at this link…

Dr. Alan Weidner’s Make-A-Wish Donation Page

massage chair relief and make a wish
Mark Simonson from Make-A-Wish (left)

One of the unexpected side benefits of my relationship with MAW has been getting to know Mark Simonson, their Senior Manager of Planned Giving. Mark travels from Phoenix, which is the location of their international headquarters, a couple of times a year and brings me MAW updates as well as beautiful gifts, including books written by Wish Children, whenever we reach certain donation thresholds. It has been a pleasure to get to know him.

Well, I was in Arizona Tuesday of this week signing the lease for our next Massage Chair Relief store, and Mark invited me to come visit the world headquarters of Make-A-Wish for a tour. After all my work with the store was done, I drove to their offices and got treated like royalty. I know in the grand scheme of things my donation total is nothing compared to what other donors give, but everyone I met on the tour made me feel like what I was doing was amazing. I’ll admit I felt quite embarrassed by the accolades when I knew my contribution amount was really just a drop in the bucket. But they were all so gracious and kind to me for what we were doing, you would have thought I was their #1 donor!

(L-R) Richard Davis, CEO, Dr. Alan Weidner, Mark Simonson

Part of the visit to the MAW headquarters was a 20 minute visit with Richard Davis, the President and CEO of Make-A-Wish. I was actually shocked that he would take time from his busy schedule to meet with me, but Mark made it happen. Again, he made me feel like a million bucks for our small part in all of this, but it was wonderful to chat with him about the Foundation and what is going on around the world with their organization and with the children. A very kind and gracious man. It seems that in every picture I’m in with folks from MAW, I am always the shortest!

While I was given the tour of the new Make-A-Wish national headquarters, Mark took the time to explain to me the origins of Make-A-Wish and how it all started. I did not know this but a wish to be a police officer was granted by some policemen and the mother of a child name Chris Greicius. Some local police officers, at the request of Chris’s mother, made him an honorary police officer for a day. Chris died four days later. From that humble and tender beginning an amazing foundation was organized. In their new headquarters there is a garden at the front entrance with a statue of Chris, as well as a display with artifacts, images, and the actual uniform he was given for visitors to enjoy.

Chris Greicius – the first Wish Kid!

Thank you, again, dear reader, for purchasing your massage chair from Massage Chair Relief and being a part of my effort to pitch in to this great cause!

Dr. Alan Weidner

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Massage Chair Relief & Make-A-Wish

Logo of Make-A-Wish foundation
Logo of Make-A-Wish foundation

As you may or may not know, I have been a big supporter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation for years. It all began when I was still in practice and we sponsored a Wish Child who wanted to go to Disneyland. My chiropractic patients kindly donated to this project over a period of time and we ultimately ended up raising enough money to make this precious child’s dream come true. After the wish had been granted, the Make A Wish folks here in Utah arranged for us to meet the little girl, whose wish we were able to grant through our fundraiser. This whole experience impacted me deeply in a few ways:

  1. Visiting the Make A Wish of Utah headquarters was a very emotional experience. I had made an appointment with my contact there to go on a tour of the facility and learn more about the company and it’s program. When I arrived for my appointment, the receptionist told me that my contact would be out shortly and they wanted me to spend some time reading as many Make A Wish stories as I could that were posted on the walls of the reception area. There were so many and once I started reading, I couldn’t stop…reading or crying!! By the time my contact appeared for our appointment I literally could not speak because I was so emotional. Tears in my eyes, blowing my nose every couple of minutes, and trying to speak to this lovely lady with quivering lips was too much. I had to take some time to get myself together before I could carry on a conversation. Wow, what an experience! I have 6 kids and I could see every one of my children in every one of those Make A Wish kids. I STRONGLY recommend that you visit a Make A Wish facility if you have one in your town. Amazing all around.
  2. When the mother of this Wish Child brought her in to meet us, I was overwhelmed in a couple of ways: 1.) the little girl had a very debilitating disease that ravaged her body and left her limp in a wheelchair and her appearance alone elicited an emotional response from me and my staff, and 2.) when the mother told us how the trip to Disneyland had changed their daughter, we were all amazed. The little girl seemed very outgoing, engaging, and responsive with each of us in the clinic. Her mother told us that she was NEVER like that until she went to Disneyland. She said that her daughter came back a completely different person. To her it was miracle that her daughter was interacting with the staff…and it was all brought about by this Make A Wish gift.
  3. Pretty much all of the kids we learned about, including our Wish Child, had no choice about their disability or disease. They are innocent bystanders of something gone wrong in their bodies. To see how positive they and their families are in the face of a challenging quality of life as well as the prospect of early passing was so inspiring to me.
  4. The kindness of our patients and staff in donating to this fundraiser was impressive to me. Despite what we may see on the nightly news, I am a firm believer that human nature is inherently good and that most, if not all, people want to be kind and giving and supportive, if given the chance. People were so kind and I was overwhelmed by that kindness in this project.

Well, as a result of that experience, I decided that when I started my massage chair business a portion of every dollar that came to us through the business would go to the National Make-A-Wish Foundation. Soon after beginning Massage Chair Relief, we began donating. To this day, we have donated over $38,000 and helped a number of kids see their wishes come true. All this money really didn’t come from me…it came from folks like you who trusted us with your massage chair purchase. I am really just a middle man in the whole process.

massage chair relief and make a wish
Mark Simonson from Make-A-Wish (the tall one!)

Today, I was visited by Mark Simonson from the Make A Wish national headquarters in Phoenix and presented with a plaque to put on our Utah showroom wall for all to see. It is given to folks who have donated over $30,000 to the Make A Wish Foundation. I wanted to brag about this plaque because it really is a thank you to all of my customers who purchased a massage chair from me. If you are a current customer or a soon-to-be customer, this donation effort wouldn’t be happening. I am grateful for your patronage for many reasons, but this is one of the biggest. make a wish plaque

If you would like to donate without purchasing a chair from us, please go to my donation page and give whatever you feel inspired to give. Thank you.

Dr. Weidner’s Make-A-Wish Donation Page

Dr. Alan Weidner

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