Make A Wish Letter Proves to Be A Hoax - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/28/07

Make A Wish Letter Proves to Be A Hoax

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When NewsChannel 11 received a letter from a well known Lubbock doctor requesting us to help fulfill the wish of a dying make a wish child - we took a closer look.

The letter says that it's 7-year-old Craig's wish is to have an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest collection of business cards.

The letter specifically asks your business establishment to submit one card then retype the letter on your letter head and forward it to 20 other contacts.

When NewsChannel 11 looked through the list of people who had already participated, it looked legit - other local doctors, businessmen even honorable judges, but after some digging we learned this letter holds more fiction than fact.

"I really never paid attention to this stuff but this one caught my attention that he's got a brain tumor and the whole story of a few months to live. Plus we're in this business to save lives and I thought this is something I could grant," says Dr. Bachar Al-Alami, with All About Kids.

So Dr. Alami retyped the letter believing he was fulfilling the wish of a terminally ill seven-year-old. He then forwarded the letter to 20 other doctors and thus the pattern continued until NewsChannel 11 received the letter from Dr. Duncan Burkholders office.

The letter is straight forward - submit your business card to the National Make a Wish Foundation and continue the chain by forwarding it to 20 other people. But we discovered the Make a Wish Foundation address was incorrect.

After a little more digging, NewsChannel 11 learned the Make a Wish Foundation never participates in chain letters something Dr. Alami says he was unaware of until informed by us.

"It kind of makes you feel stupid," says Dr. Alami.

"They see the Make a Wish name on it and think oh its got to be good and they want to help and this is a simple way for them to help," says Jelaine Workman, the Executive Director of Make a Wish Foundation of the Texas Plains.

Workman says there's no reason to feel stupid because the letter holds some truth. In 1989, Craig Shergold was dying from a brain tumor.

Nine-years-old at the time, his wish was to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for receiving the most greeting cards.

Another wish granting organization fulfilled that wish in1990.

"He received more than sixteen million cards, Craig is now a healthy adult and requested an end to the mail," says Workman.

As for Dr. Aleman he says he will stay away from chain letters and adds at least he was able to help one entity.

"I guess the post office is very happy. That's a lot of business," says Dr. Alami.

If you want to help the Make a Wish Foundation, they always need volunteers or cash donations. For more information call 806-785-9474.

Children's Miracle Network - Lubbock Site
Learn more about how CMN helps children on the South Plains and the UMC Children's Hospital.

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