Make-a-Wish - Chris Greicius

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Standing outside the Make-a-Wish America headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, this likeness of Chris Greicius — a life-size bronze portrait sculpture — was inspired by a young boy with stage-four leukemia who shared a wish.

An emotionally moving tribute of the Make-a-Wish Foundation's first recipient whose dying wish inspired a worldwide movement.

Tom White was honored to be asked to create this important life-size bronze sculpture for the Make-a-Wish-America© headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona.  It’s a masterfully detailed portrait bronze of Chris Greicius, who had been diagnosed with stage four leukemia at age five.  When his family was told he had only a maximum of three years to live, he told his mom, Linda, that he still wanted to be an officer for the Phoenix Police Department.

Several officers and friends in the community heard of Chris’ wish and set about to make it happen.  According to several news stories, including one in the DailyMail, several DPS officers worked to commission a uniform for Chris in his size, organize a helicopter ride, and to help him earn his badge!  The day his motorcycle wings badge arrived, Chris was rushed to the hospital and a group of PPD officers came to the hospital to present the prized gifts.  Sadly, Chris died two days later wearing his uniform and clutching his prized badge.  Chris was buried wearing his uniform.

Tom worked closely with the Make-a-Wish Foundation and with Chris’ mom, Linda Pauling, to get the portrait “just right.”  Tom felt it important to capture Chris’ sweet smile and proud demeanor as he had when wearing his uniform and hat.  As a gifted storyteller in bronze, Tom was able to capture both the likeness and spirit of the people he depicts in memorial bronze sculptures.…Tom & Marcey White

No one would ever have been able to predict the massive influence that this one little boy had on so many people. The Make-a-Wish Foundation has teamed up with people all over the globe to make hundreds of thousands of wishes come true for children with life-threatening critical illnesses. Per the foundation’s website:

“Tens of thousands of volunteers, donors and supporters advance the Make-a-Wish® vision to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a critical illness.  In the U.S. and its territories, a wish is granted every 34 minutes. A wish can be that spark that helps these children believe that anything is possible, and gives them the strength to fight harder against their illnesses. This one belief guides us and inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve.”