When Nurse Practitioner Alix Dassler has a hard day at work, she listens to her voicemail. On the other end is an emotional wish mom talking through tears about her son’s incredible Make-A-Wish experience.
It’s that dose of inspiration, hope and joy that reminds Alix why referring children to Make-A-Wish is so important and why she joined the Make-A-Wish Board.
We recently chatted with Alix to get to know her more. Her interview follows.
Where do you work and what do you like about your job?
I have the best job! I am a Nurse Practitioner at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, the only primary care clinic affiliated with Seattle Children's Hospital. The main focus of my job is taking care of children with Sickle Cell Disease. I get to work with amazing families from all over the world, from Haiti to Iraq to Kenya. They keep me on my toes and teach me something new every day! It is such an honor to develop long lasting relationships with families, and to support them through both the good times and the bad.
How long have you been referring children to Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington?
I have been referring children to Make-A-Wish since the spring of 2016. It was such a treat to finally “write a prescription” for something other than medicine that could help my patients feel better.
Why do you refer children to Make-A-Wish?
The suffering that my patients go through, over and over again, is unimaginable. To be able to sit a family down after a really tough hospitalization, recognizing with them how hard it all is, and then offer them this opportunity for a different kind of healing, is just incredibly special. Wishes aren’t just a fun thing. Wishes offer hope, and I think that is invaluable.
Do you have a favorite wish story?
A patient of mine, who is a refugee from Africa, chose to take her family to the Great Wolf Lodge for her wish. At one point, mom called me to reschedule an appointment they had with me, as it conflicted with their wish trip. She left me this beautiful voicemail, full of gratitude… and a few tears. I have it saved on my work phone and still listen to the voicemail on hard days. It’s a great reminder that it’s not just the child who is impacted by a wish, but the entire family.