Our History


Marty Lyons was an NFL player for the New York Jets where he served for 12-years as a premiere defensive lineman. Early in his career, Marty befriended and became a Big Brother to a three-year-old boy, Keith, suffering from an advanced illness.

Three years later, in March of 1982, Marty experienced a six day period filled with highs and lows...the birth of his first child, a healthy son, followed four days later by the sudden passing of his father, Leo, followed two days later by the passing of Keith. These experiences profoundly affected Marty’s attitude toward life, fame and his fellow human beings. With the encouragement and assistance of his family and friends, Marty became determined to establish a foundation dedicated to granting the wishes of seriously-ill children. 

We have kept the hope alive in the hearts of children with a terminal or life-threatening illness by making their special wishes come true! These wishes have the ability to sweep the children and their family away from the daily heartache of the illness. It is a joyous time which creates wonderful memories and promotes a better quality of life.

Some of the wishes we have granted include a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disney, a meet and greet with a celebrity, a computer or gaming system, a swimming pool, a shopping spree and so much more. Every child has a dream and although we can’t promise a lifetime of happiness to these seriously-ill children, we can make dreams become reality!

♦ As of 2020, we have granted over 8,000 wishes ♦
♦ 92% of every $1.00 donated goes towards our Mission ♦