Make-A-Wish Club founded

Sana Moezzi’s (left) wish to go to Coachella was granted by Make-A-Wish Foundation.

First-year Sana Moezzi founded the club at USD after receiving a wish herself
Kennedy Avery | Contributor | USD Vista
On Nov. 15, 2016, Sana Moezzi was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer when she was still in high school. Since then, Moezzi has been through several treatments, graduated from Carlsbad High School, attended Coachella on a wish from the Make-A-Wish foundation, started her first year at the University of San Diego, and survived cancer.  In her first semester at USD, Moezzi started the Make-A-Wish Club on campus.

Inspired to give back, Moezzi started the Make-A-Wish Club at USD.

“Make-A-Wish really inspired me to give back to others because the amount of joy and kindness they give to kids like me,” Moezzi said. “[Make-A-Wish has] impacted so many lives through their granting of wishes, so I really wanted to do something where  I could give back in that sort of way as well. I decided to make the club because of how much it impacted me personally.”

Amid her five months of chemotherapy treatment at Rady Children’s Hospital and one month of radiation therapy at UCSD Moore’s Cancer Center, Moezzi’s doctors at Rady Children’s Hospital referred her to Make-A-Wish.

Given the opportunity to wish for anything, Moezzi initially deliberated between a coffee date with Beyoncé or a celebrity performance for her community to enjoy. Moezzi instead decided to attend Coachella in April 2017. Deciding on her wish just three weeks before the music festival, Make-A-Wish was able to provide Moezzi and her family and friends with tickets, all-access passes, travel funds, and even spending money for merchandise and food.

Between the run-ins with Ariana Grande, the conversations with Mac Miller and DJ Khaled, and the shared experience with her family and friends, Moezzi’s Coachella wish was fulfilled.

“Going to Coachella was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had in my life,” Moezzi said. “Make-A-Wish allowed me to live the happiest life through that time.”

Moezzi explained that the work of Make-A-Wish is more than the wish.

“It’s not the wish itself, it’s more the power of a wish,”  Moezzi said. “For an organization to be able to make people happy and to make them want to live [the] life they want regardless of the obstacles that they’re going through, I think that is really key, just in life in general.”

Although the club was unable to table at Alcala Bazaar, Moezzi hopes for more members to join in the spring. Make-A-Wish Club aims to host a variety of fundraisers throughout the year that will go toward funding wishes for the Make-A-Wish organization. The club has proposed fundraisers at Baked Bear and Chipotle, or a themed party in the UC Forums. These will work in tandem with Moezzi’s direct involvement with the San Diego chapter of Make-A-Wish to give back to children with serious illnesses in the San Diego area.

In fact, Moezzi has already gone through training to grant wishes herself, and is in the process of working with a five-year-old girl with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

“[The young girl’s parents mentioned] her friends don’t come to visit anymore and I almost started crying because that’s exactly what I went through,” Moezzi said. “To think that a five-year-old girl doesn’t have anybody is really sad to see. These kids really have nothing at that moment and just knowing that Make-A-Wish can actually do something to change that inspired me to start the club.”

The Make-A-Wish Club is not the only group on campus working to give back. Sororities and fraternities also regularly raise money for Rady Children’s Hospital. The Torero Dance Marathon, which will take place on the Colachis Plaza on Feb. 24, 2018, plans to donate all its proceeds to Rady Children’s Hospital.

Moezzi is hopeful that the Make-A-Wish Club can collaborate with these other groups on campus.

As a new organization on campus, Make-A-Wish Club is still getting its feet on the ground, and calculating the details of collaborations with other organizations is something Moezzi would love to do.

Moezzi encouraged anyone interested in sharing the power of a wish to get involved with the club. Moezzi personally knows the power of a wish, and through the Make-A-Wish Club on campus she is sharing that power.