Chain Letters Asking to Help Young Children with Cancer Are Not Legitimate Requests

    TORONTO, April 17 /CNW/ - A series of unauthorized chain letters and
emails, encouraging people to respond and by doing so to help seriously ill
children, continue to circulate in Canada. These emails are not legitimate and
are not affiliated with the Make-A-Wish Foundation(R).
    One email is about a seven year old (local) girl named Amy Bruce who has
cancer. People are asked to forward the email to as many people as possible,
and Make-A-Wish Foundation will donate 7 cents to help pay her medical
expenses. Another letter asks people to send business cards or greeting cards
to a boy named Craig Shergold, Craig Sherwood, Craig Sheppard, Craig Sherford
or other similar-sounding names. Many of these letters and emails falsely
state that the Make-A-Wish Foundation(R) of Canada is supporting the request.
    "Well-meaning people pass along these letters and emails because they
believe they are helping a child with a life-threatening illness," said Mary
Jardine, CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada. "Unfortunately, the request
is not genuine. Make-A-Wish(R) does not participate in chain letters, email
solicitation of any kind, telemarketing or door-to-door fundraising programs.
The time and expense required to respond to the hundreds of enquiries
generated by these emails distracts us from granting wishes to actual children
in need."

    If you receive a chain letter or email:
    -   Please reply to the sender and inform him or her that Make-A-Wish(R)
        Canada does not participate in chain letters or other similar wishes
        via the internet, telephone or door-to-door.
    -   Refer the sender and all recipients to the Make-A-Wish Canada web
        site at
    -   Do not forward the email; instead, delete it immediately.

    Currently, Shane Bernier, a young boy with cancer, is attempting to 
enter the Guinness Book of World Records by receiving the most birthday cards.
This is a valid request, but it is not affiliated with the Make-A-Wish
Foundation of Canada. Shane's request is an independent request and is not
affiliated with a wish-granting organization.
    In 1989, Craig Shergold, a 9-year old English boy diagnosed with a brain
tumor, also wanted to be recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records for
receiving the most birthday cards. His wish originated with another
wish-granting organization and was fulfilled in 1990 after receiving more than
16 million cards.
    Shergold is now a healthy adult and has requested an end to the mailings.
Mail sent to the address indicated in the emails is turned over to a recycler
for disposal.
    For more information about these and other chain letter and email hoaxes,
please visit the Make-A-Wish Foundation(R) of Canada web site, Information is posted on the Home Page.

    Here are some ways people can legitimately help the Make-A-Wish Foundation
of Canada and children with life-threatening illnesses:
    -   Refer a child with a life-threatening illness for a wish experience
    -   Make a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation(R)
    -   Volunteer for your local Chapter.

    About Make-A-Wish Foundation(R) of Canada
    Make-A-Wish Foundation(R) of Canada, through its eight regional chapters,
grants the personal, special wishes of children aged 3 though 17, with
life-threatening illnesses, to enrich the human experience with hope, strength
and joy. Founded after a group of individuals helped a young boy fulfil his
dream of being a police officer, the Foundation is now the part of the largest
wish-granting organization in the world, making dreams and wishes come true
for more than 162,000 children.

For further information:

For further information: Margaret Valois, Make-A-Wish Foundation(R) of
Canada, (416) 224-9474 ext 547,

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