The Power of A Child's Wish
published September 2016
In February, 1979, seven year old Christopher
Greicius was diagnosed with leukemia. Chris
and his mother Linda were living in Scottsdale,
Arizona where a family friend, US Customs
Agent Tommy Austin, developed a special
friendship with him. Chris loved playing
policeman and wanted to catch the bad guys.
Tommy would play the bad guy and Chris
would chase him on his battery-powered, threewheeled
motorcycle, always catching him and
making the arrest.
When Chris was hospitalized, knowing his
death was imminent, Austin spoke with Arizona
Department of Public Safety Officer Ron
Cox and they began a plan to make Chris' wish
Lt. Col. Dick Schaefer gave Chris a "Smokey
Bear" hat and one of
his own old badges.
He also swore Chris in
as Arizona's first and
only honorary DPS officer.
They gave him
a helicopter tour of
Phoenix and he "drove" a police car.
The officers had an official police uniform
created for Chris. They delivered the uniform
to Chris at the hospital on May 1, and he wore
it with much delight.
Unfortunately Chris lost his battle with leukemia
only two days later.
Realizing Chris' joy at receiving his wish,
his mother Linda worked with others to start
a wish-granting organization. By January 1981,
the Greicious MakeA-Wish
founded by Linda Pauling,
and Scott Stahl. The non-profit memorial later
became the Make-A-Wish Foundation.