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How to help kids with critical illnesses, one meal at a time

(BPT) - Can you imagine being diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of seven? For one little girl in southern Florida named Nicole, this was her reality. Nicole's devastating diagnosis meant being confined to a hospital bed, where her greatest comfort was watching her favorite sport on TV - figure skating. The joy she felt watching her favorite skaters performing on the ice led to Nicole's dream, which became a wish granted by Make-A-Wish: She wanted to become a famous figure skater.

Thanks to Make-A-Wish and its many generous donors and sponsors, Nicole was able to experience weeks of private skating lessons after her chemotherapy treatments until the big day when her wish would come true. Her wish was granted with the help of a team of professional figure skaters, a local entertainment venue, her coach, her family and many supporters in the community. Nicole was able to perform on the ice along with professional skaters, and even received a medal! You can watch her triumphant experience at

Nicole's wish is just one of more than 550,000 wishes that have been granted globally for children with critical illnesses since Make-A-Wish was founded in 1980.

A new partnership to make even more wishes come true

To support these kinds of magical, life-affirming moments with children who need them, Red Robin, a national restaurant chain known for its delicious gourmet burgers and family-friendly atmosphere, has partnered with Make-A-Wish.

Donating 10 cents for each kids' meal sold at all corporate-owned and participating franchise restaurants nationwide to Make-A-Wish, Red Robin has pledged $3 million in donations over a three-year period. Since the partnership launched in February, Red Robin has donated more than $700,000 so far toward granting wishes to nearly 70 children throughout the United States. In addition to the donation program, Red Robin has hosted 40 families for Wish reveal parties and celebrations in their restaurants.

"Make-A-Wish is an organization very close to my heart after several years of prior service on their Board of Directors," said G.J. Hart, president and CEO, Red Robin. "At Red Robin, we always strive to create memorable moments for families in our restaurants. With this partnership, we are honored to have the opportunity to extend that joy to the children who need it most."

Every year, 27,000 kids diagnosed with critical illnesses may qualify for a wish, and currently Make-A-Wish grants about half that many wishes each year. This national partnership will help raise crucial funds to make even more life-changing wishes possible for children - many of whom credit their wish with helping them overcome their illness.

"We know wishes bring hope and renewed joy to children battling critical illnesses," said Leslie Motter, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. "Our partnerships are the driving force behind every wish granted, and Red Robin's generous commitment will have a powerful impact on our mission and the lives of children and families nationwide."

How you can help

You can learn more about the partnership at - and plan your family's next visit to Red Robin to help make a difference for Make-A-Wish kids everywhere.

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