The ultimate collaboration: Make-A-Wish Foundation and biotech

Andrew Marcus plays guitar at Bio International Convention

Andrew Marshall’s life turned upside down when he was 16 and received an acute lymphoblastic leukemia diagnosis. As a budding musician, he would sit having treatment while listening to his favorite singer/songwriter, John Mayer.

His dream to meet his idol came true when Make-A-Wish Foundation stepped in to make it happen.

Marshall, now in his 20s and cancer-free, has his own successful music career and appeared on Season 20 of The Voice.

Speaking at the 2023 Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) International Convention, he is a great supporter of the foundation and of the biotech industry.

“I am fully healthy and now get to support such incredible causes like Make-A-Wish and biotechnology and speak about my experiences, both as a cancer survivor and a Make-A-Wish recipient. To hopefully push more progress, push more research, more funds to be raised, to get more Make-A-Wishes to happen, because I know how much they can impact a child’s life, just like they impacted mine,” he said.

“It was pretty crazy to know that with research, despite it being such a scary thing to hear, I knew I was going to be ok. I knew my treatment cycle was going to work and that was very comforting.”

From loving father to Hollywood hero

Make-A-Wish is a nonprofit organization that last year named John Crowley, Amicus Executive Chairman, as one of their philanthropists of the year.

Crowley is now also the focus of a Hollywood movie that tells the story of his dedication to saving the lives of two of his children, who, in 1998, were diagnosed with Pompe disease, a rare and often fatal neuromuscular disorder. He raised $27 million and co-founded a startup biotech company that ultimately saved his children’s lives, and thousands of others.

John Crowley speaks at Bio International Convention in Boston.
John Crowley speaks at the 2023 Bio International Convention in Boston.

“There is a great connection between Make-A-Wish and biotechnology. There is a misconception that all Make-A-Wish children have a fatal prognosis. While that is true many times, now. thankfully in large measures, due to what we do in biotechnology and in science and medicine, the majority of our Wish children survive their life-threatening illnesses,” he said in Boston.

“For what we’re able to do in biotechnology and provide hope to these families and, ultimately, to extend and enhance and improve their lives. Make-A-Wish has a very similar and powerful mission—with strength, hope, and joy to improve the life of a child and fulfill the heartfelt wish of every child with a life-threatening illness. So, it is a great combination of missions,” he said.

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