Monday, November 19, 2007

Amy Bruce: Make-A-Wish Foundation

By Tony Vega for
Monday, November 19, 2007

Recently, I've received a chain letter via email describing the plight of a 7-year-old girl with cancer named Amy Bruce. The letter goes on to claim if forwarded the Make-A-Wish Foundation will donate 7 cents every time the message is sent on. The heart wrenching claim is that the young girl is suffering from lung cancer derived from second hand smoke and a brain tumor from repeated beatings. One variation of this is included:

Hi, my name is Amy Bruce. I am 7 years old, and I have a large tumor on my brain and severe lung cancer. The doctors say I will die soon if this isn't fixed, and my family can't pay the bills. "The Make A Wish Foundation" has agreed to donate 7 cents for every time this message is sent on. For those of you who send this along, I thank you so much. But for those who don't send it, I will still pray for you. Please,i f you are a kind person, have a heart. Please, please,
Amy Bruce

This is a Hoax, clear and simple. First, there has to be software established in order to track the millions of emails forwarded and received in order for the Foundation to send Amy money. Secondly, the Make-A-Wish Foundation doesn't operate in that manner. The Make-A-Wish Foundation Does Not Participate In Chain Letter Or Other Direct Solicitation Wishes.

A quick check with revealed that a variation of the Amy Bruce email has been circulating around the net since 1999, which would make "Amy" 15 years-old today.

The pranksters exploit the well intentioned nature of decent people in order to further their hoax, and nothing strums the heart strings like a young child with cancer.

Unfortunately, this serves as a distraction of the fantastic work done by the Foundation and the need for assistance for actual sick children. However, we can turn this into a positive by recognizing the Make-A-Wish Foundation and learning about the true mission of this wonderful Foundation. The Mission: "[To] grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions [and] to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy."

The Foundation is not in the practice of procuring donations via chain letters for medical assistance.

The Beginning:

Since 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has enriched the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions through its wish-granting work. The Foundation's mission reflects the life-changing impact that a Make-A-Wish experience has on children, families, referral sources, donors, sponsors and entire communities. The Make-A-Wish Foundation was founded in 1980 after a little 7-year-old boy named Chris Greicius realized his heartfelt wish to become a police officer. Since its humble beginnings, the organization has blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon, reaching more than 144,000 children around the world.

So, what to do when you receive a hoax email? Don't forward it and perpetuate the hoax, delete it. Better yet:

Refer the sender and all recipients to this page.

Refer senders to ways they can help the Foundation

To learn more about the Foundation, Chris' story, and many others visit the Make-A-Wish Foundation web site, and maybe you can join me and help make a wish come true.

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