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It all started with just one wish.
One wish from one sweet seven-year-old boy battling Leukemia. That boy, Chris Greicius had a wish to become a Highway Patrol Motorcycle Officer like his heroes from the television show Chips. Officer Frank Shankwitz was one of a few graced with the privilege of bringing Chris’ wish to reality. Chris’ day as an honorary Highway Patrol Officer included a custom uniform, badge, helicopter ride, and motorcycle obstacle course.
A small group of Officers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety fought the clock to make his wish come true in the precious days before Chris’ passing.
After flying to Illinois to give Chris Greicius the honor of a police funeral, Officer Frank Shankwitz knew the wishes couldn’t end there. Along with his wife and several others, the group built an organization that would eventually grant over 350,000 wishes for kids with life threatening conditions.
It’s utterly amazing to me how one wish evolved into an organization that covers 36 countries and has had a positive effect on millions of suffering people. His autobiography Wishman is an absolute inspiration and is currently being made into Hollywood movie. I can’t wait to see it! Keep reading, and you will see why I fell in love with the book.
Frank Shankwitz came from a very humble beginning. As a child he was often homeless, and many times survived by the grace of strangers. Frank often thought back on a conversation with his father figure Juan, “Whenever you can, give back”. It’s safe to say, that’s exactly what he did.
Here is a very powerful excerpt from a recent interview with the Shankwitz provided by Happyliving.com
“As I look back, it seems as if my crazy life conspired to help me help others by starting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I think it probably began with Juan mentoring me and teaching me the importance of giving back. The next thing was my motorcycle accident as a highway patrol officer. I was actually pronounced dead at the scene but somehow survived. It made me wonder: Why did God spare me? I started asking, “Is there something I am supposed to do? What is my purpose?” And then I met Chris, a very sick little seven-year-old boy with terminal leukemia, and I finally knew my answer. I’m real lucky because being a police officer and being so involved in the Foundation are both things I love and that create value for others. For me, I especially love doing things that help children… and my roles in the police department and as the Wish Ambassador have allowed me to do that.”
What’s the one wish that Frank the Wishman Shankwitz asked for?
“To have this story shared, so people can see that everyone can make the world a little brighter. YOU can make the world a little brighter. “
With so much cultural turmoil these days it’s easy to forget that each one of us has the opportunity and ability to make a difference. Thank you Frank for the incredible reminder and inspiration!