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John Revisits His Favorite Hangout

John swims in the YMCA

“ ...wish granters gave him a gift that brought him back to the days before his diagnosis ”

The local YMCA was the hub of John’s social life. He’d swim and try different sports with his best friends.

Then he was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disorder. His mother had to quit her job to care for him. And that meant giving up his YMCA membership.

John told Make-A-Wish® volunteers how much he missed his days at the Y. They organized a party for him at the pool where he and his friends passed all their spare time. Wish granters and UnitedHealthcare volunteers greeted John when he arrived in a stretch limo.

Best of all, John’s wish granters gave him a gift that brought him back to the days before his diagnosis – a 5-year membership, plus swimming lessons and entry to the summer camps for teenagers.

The UnitedHealth Group Wishes program has been established to enable the company to grant wishes like John’s through the Make-A-Wish chapters in the United States, Guam and Puerto Rico. UnitedHealth Group is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to making health care work better. Through its family of businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves approximately 70 million individuals nationwide.

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This is so amazing. John wanted just one swim at the YMCA. Tearing up...

February 21, 2008 - 3:09 PM


Wow! Out of all of the experiences I've read about, this one is the most touching. It shows how special John is that his wish is just to be able to share time with his friends swimming and just being a kid. God bless you John, and best of luck!

June 04, 2008 - 9:18 PM


Just shows what is really most important in life....friends and family!

July 19, 2008 - 12:05 PM


This is really sweet and amazing! Out of all the wishes in the world he chooses to go to the YMCA and be with friends and family. John you're an inspiration!

September 14, 2011 - 10:04 AM



February 27, 2014 - 6:41 PM

Sonna D.

John has a HUGE HEART...stay strong John!

January 12, 2015 - 7:14 AM

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