Coronavirus pandemic forces Make-A-Wish program to postpone trips

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Over 100 trips all around the world have been put on hold for New Jersey children battling life-threatening illnesses.

The children had wished to go to a place like Disney World, Italy and Ireland this spring through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, those trips have been put on hold.

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"Our kids, by the nature of the illnesses themselves, oftentimes have suppressed immune systems. But when you throw in treatment protocols that really wreak havoc on their systems, we have to protect them,” says Make-A-Wish New Jersey CEO and president Tom Weatherall.

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The organization has put 100 of 600 trips this year on hold, and it expects that number to grow.

Weatherall says that postponing the trips isn’t taken lightly.

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“One child whose wish we were working on passed away overnight. He was meant to leave today for a trip,” Weatherall says while getting emotional.

Another issue the organization is facing is that donations have dried up, making it a challenge to fund the trips once they do resume.

The annual Make-A-Wish gala in June will still go on, but it will be held online.

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