World of Wishes

World of Wishes

Make-A-Wish Southern Florida invites you into our “World of Wishes”. This podcast will give you an insider’s perspective on how wishes are granted and those that play a significant role in granting them. Serving children and families in 22 counties in Southeast and Southwest Florida, the Tampa Bay and Suncoast regions and the U.S. Virgin Islands, it is our mission to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. To learn more about how you can help make wishes come true, visit us on the web at You can also connect with us @makeawishsfla on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


February 29, 2024 27 mins

In Episode 25 of World Of Wishes, Make-A-Wish Board of Directors - Gal Bensaadon and Brian Exelbert - discuss founding Wings For Wishes - a chicken wing competition and premiere block party in its' 10th year.

They also talk about what's in store for this years' event and how they've turned their passion into granting hundreds of wishes for children throughout their communities.

Your generous support transforms lives, one wish at a ti...

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It's been 1 Year of World of Wishes!​

In Episode 24 of World Of Wishes, we’re calling back to our first episode and sitting down with our chapter’s President & CEO, Norm Wedderburn.​ He discussed the state of our chapter - Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, running a non-profit in today's world, the opening of the Finker-Frenkel Wish House in Miami (coming soon!), and much more.

Thank you for supporting this podcast by listen...

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In Episode 23 of World of Wishes, Wish Granter and Volunteer - Shelby Ruebens, talks about her decade-long tenure of volunteering for Make-A-Wish where she has granted over 125 wishes! Listen now to hear stories on her favorite wishes and her perspective on how wishes are so powerful and long-lasting for the children that receive them.

Learn about how YOU can make wishes come true like Shelby at!

Be sure to fol...

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"I was blown away by the entire experience." - Tajhira Omphroy

In episode 22 of World of Wishes, Wish Alum Tajhira Omphroy, who wished to meet Miami Dolphins legendary quarter-back Dan Marino in 1994, spoke about how her wish helped get her through some dark days following her transplant.

Tajhira's entire family joined her for her wish and she explains how that enhanced the entire experience for her.

To make a donation that impacts a ...

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"It [my wish] was a push in life that I needed, being so sad and depressed of being so sick, to tell me - I have a purpose in life, I'm meant to do this just like he is, and I'm going to do it because I have somebody behind me in my corner telling me 'you got this!' and 'you're gonna make it happen.'"

In episode 21 of World of Wishes, Wish Alum Jill Sharkey - who wished to meet celebrity make-up artist Gregory Arlt, spoke about goin...

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In Episode 20 of World of Wishes - Wish Dad, volunteer, and Wish Granter - Joel Nagelbush, whose son Justin wished to meet Spiderman at Disney World many years ago, talked about how the wish created a spark to do more.

In the year since - Joel has helped grant dozens of wishes that created memories for wish kids and their families that they'll remember forever!

Learn more about how YOU can become a wish granter and make wishes come t...

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"Whether you're in the hospital or not, the news still comes on in the morning, the ocean is still rolling, and the sun still rises. Once I realized that things keep going in nature and things keep going on in the world - The world doesn't stop for you, you have to keep going."

In episode 19 of World of Wishes, Wish Alumnus Neeley Heilman spoke about her wish back in 2019 to go to Amsterdam and photograph tulips! Now 19 and in her s...

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September 30th, 2023 is #InternationalPodcastDay!

Thank you for supporting the World of Wishes Podcast and listening to the amazing stories of wishes from the perspectives of wish alumni, parents, medical professionals, and more.

In episode 18 of World of Wishes, Wish Alumnus Megan Taylor, spoke about her week-long wish to go to California for the Ocean's 11 Premiere back in 2005. She reflected on how her wish strengthened h...

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In Episode 17 of World of Wishes, Wish Dad and Wish Granter - Nick Kordenbrock, whose son Spencer received a custom themed golf cart back in 2019, spoke about how the golf cart helped improve the quality of life for his son and inspired him to become a wish granter!

He describes the amazing feeling of paying it forward to other wish families and getting to be a part of the wish experience.

Learn more about how YOU can become a wish g...

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"It's more than just the wish...It's the hope that the wish brings."

In celebration of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we are looking back on Wish Alumnus, Remi Storch, who wished to go to Walt Disney World® back in 2005! Now 25 and living in Tampa Bay, Remi reflects on her wish 18 years ago and how that changed her family's outlook on life.

To make a donation that impacts a child's life, click here!

To learn more about us as a cha...

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"This magical wish brought her back to life."

In Episode 15 of World of Wishes, Wish Mom, Mindy Brown talked about her daughter's wish in 1992 to go to Walt Disney World®. She discusses how being a Wish Granter for over 30 years with 200+ wishes granted is the most meaningful part of her life!

Learn more about how YOU can make magical wishes come true for wish kids like Sandy at

Mindy is 1 of 500 Make-A-Wish vol...

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"I remember every detail from start to finish [...] It was a day I'll never forget."

In the 14th episode of World of Wishes, former Wish Kid, Max Costanzo talked 15 years later about how meeting Miami Heat legend Dwayne Wade in 2008 had a significant impact on his life.

Dwyane Wade granted more than 30 wishes during his playing days with the Heat, making him one of our most requested local celebrities EVER!

The wishes were awesome, an...

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In Episode 13 of World of Wishes, Advisory Board Member for Tampa Bay and Wish Granter - Amanda Beauvais, spoke about her volunteer experience at Make-A-Wish since 2015 and how being a Wish Granter brings her joy.

Learn about how YOU can make wishes come true like Amanda at!

Be sure to follow us @makeawishsfla on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn!

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In Episode 12 of World of Wishes, Wish Mom - Stephanie LeDuff, whose daughter Libbi went to Walt Disney World® earlier this year, spoke about how Libbi's wish was a victory lap for her family and for her daughter who overcame tough battles with Wilms Tumor. Stephanie also talked about their experience at Give Kids The World Village® and how Libbi's reactions are "locked in her forever!"

Learn more about how YOU can make magical wish...

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In Episode 11 of World of Wishes, Kelley McCarthy - Pediatric Oncology Nurse and Make-A-Wish Volunteer, talked about how rewarding the Wish Granting experience is for her personally, and how professionally she can truly see the impact that the wishes have on Wish Kids before/after their wish comes true.

Learn more about how YOU can refer a child today at

Kelley is 1 of 500 Make-A-Wish volunteers in ou...

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"Wishes aren't just some vacation. They are victory laps. They are reaching the summit. It's the light at the end of the tunnel."

In the 10th episode of World of Wishes, former Wish Kid, Robert Sanchez talked about how his Greek Isles Cruise in 2018 brought his family closer together and provided them the feeling of conquering a milestone in his life.

See photos from Robert's wish here!

Donate your unused airline miles today through W...

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"No matter what is going on in my head to want to do, no matter how crazy it seems to the outside world, I met Cher. How much more crazy do you get than that?"

To commemorate Cher's birthday on May 20, 2023, Episode 9 of World of Wishes features former Wish Kid, Katarina Alshaier who talked about how meeting Cher backstage at a concert in 2004 helped her overcome her fears and nerves.

Check out photos of Katarina and Cher here!

To lea...

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“The wish helped her find joy for the first time ever in her life. It taught us as parents to find joy in everything - it’s just so powerful.”

In Episode 8 of World of Wishes, Jill Heilman talked about her experience as a Wish Mom of 3 Wish Kids - Hallie, Ben, and Neeley. She spoke about how wishes are rejuvenating for the entire family and gives them a break from their medical world that they deserve so badly.

To learn more about u...

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"It [my wish] made me realize now I have this huge life ahead of me and it's hard to put into words."

In Episode 7 of World of Wishes, former Wish Kid, Marina Armas talked about how her "live life like you stole it" motto was incorporated into her wish and how it set the tone for the rest of her life.

Donate your unused airline miles today through Wishes in Flight® at

To learn more about us...

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In Episode 6 of World of Wishes, Dr. J. Blaine John - Director of Pediatric and Fetal Cardiology at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, talked about the importance of a wish in a child's journey of medical healing.

Learn more about how YOU can refer a child today at

To learn more about us as a chapter, visit

Be sure to follow us @makeawishsfla on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitte...

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