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A wish to dance: how you helped two wish kids find hope, 27 years apart

“ My wish has literally lasted a lifetime. ”

- Tiffany, wish recipient in 1988

Do you want to learn how two wish kids, 27 years apart, found hope, strength and joy? Think moon walking, fluorescent colors, and Michael Jackson music.

Think fierce determination.

Meet Tiffany and Lauren, two wish kids who found hope, strength and joy to the tune of “Beat It.”

Twenty-six years ago, in 1988, Tiffany battled her second bout of aplastic anemia. Her dream of being a dancer seemed far away. Her life was filled with hospitals and medication, not shiny dance floors and ballet shoes.

Fast forward more than 20 years. Meet Lauren, a spunky youngster whose spirits were crushed by her battle with Wilms tumor, a form of kidney cancer. The child that had once loved to sing and dance and play now lived in fear of treatments and nerve pain.

Two girls, decades apart, found strength in the music of their favorite 80s pop icon, and their wishes.

Through the help of people like you, Tiffany’s dream became a reality. She didn’t become a professional dancer; instead, she wished to go to a Michael Jackson concert. To her surprise, she was asked to come up on stage to dance with Michael Jackson during the performance.

“My wish drew me into a world where my fear was transcended, where strangers would give everything they had to open my eyes to the beauty and power of my dreams,” said Tiffany.

Years later, Lauren found out she qualified for a wish, yet was too sick to think of one. But when she finally felt well enough to imagine her desires, Lauren wished to be a dancer in her own music video to Michael Jackson’s hit song “Beat It.

Instead of being a full-time cancer patient, Lauren became a star with backup dancers and costume changes and paparazzi. Instead of scheduling treatments, she scheduled dance lessons and studio filming days. And finally, she starred in her own red carpet premiere.

Tiffany and Lauren. While their wishes happened decades apart, there’s something universal about the wish experience—those magical moments when a kid’s joy overrides their fears—all to the beat of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits. 

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