The Magic Foundation
The MAGIC Foundation is a national non-profit organization created to provide support services for the families of children afflicted with a wide variety of chronic and/or critical disorders, syndromes and diseases that affect a child’s growth.
Since its inception the Foundation has grown to include support services for adults who were also impacted by these disorders.
Our commitment and vision is, to reduce the emotional and physical trauma caused by growth disorders, resulting in healthier, happier children and consequently, adults.
Our Motto: Children have a short time to grow and a lifetime to live with the results!©
This imaginary scenario is the harsh reality that thousands of parents face each day: Because we lived through it alone- MAGIC was born.
Say you take your child to the doctor because he just doesn’t seem to be growing right. He/she might be a picky eater. You try to push your concerns away by thinking well grandma was kind of small. But something deep inside you keeps nagging at you-telling you that something is not right. And so...just to be sure...you make an appointment with your child’s doctor.
Suddenly, you find yourself shocked as you hear, "Mr. and Mrs. Miller, I believe your son has a medical condition called (for example) Growth Hormone Deficiency. This is a rare disorder. And frankly I've never had another patient with this, so I’d like for him to see a specialist.” As a parent what do you do? Well I’ll tell you what we did-we went into parental protection overdrive! All senses were on high alert....panic, fear and confusion.
For us there was no MAGIC Foundation, but thankfully we did eventually find each other. We had children with Growth Hormone Deficiency. Three of us were from Illinois, one from California and the other from Oklahoma. We ran our phone bills through the roof, sharing details about our children’s medical treatments. We were our own self-made support group. We all studied, researched, and contacted everyone we could.
Little did we realize that our daily calls were the beginning of what would, one year later, become The MAGIC Foundation. We were legally incorporated October 29, 1989 in the state of Illinois. And recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization by the IRS. The humble "early days" forged the path of what is now recognized as:
The world's largest organization for growth related disorders.
During the first year, we developed our first medical brochure. Naturally it pertained to Growth Hormone Deficiency. We also developed a computer database combining all of the data we had amassed from our research the previous year. We included a physician referral database, patient networking, services, etc. Utilizing the database, we developed a highly organized and tremendously efficient system of support services.
Only a few hundred families learned about us during our set-up year. However, they touted the benefits of MAGIC loudly to their physicians. These Doctors called us for information and apparently liked what they heard and saw, because word began to spread about us. We began to receive calls from all around the country. Doctors, nurses, medical students, school health officials-the list is endless. Word was out! There was now support for this rare disorder. MAGIC became inundated with requests for help from highly respected nationally recognized physicians, medical centers and families.
What we did not realize at the time was that we had laid the ground work for a system which would expand beyond our wildest imagination!
Two years after MAGIC was born, one of the Founders was given a jolt. A second child in her family was diagnosed with a different type of rare disorder (McCune Albright Syndrome) which also affected growth. She called her MAGIC friend. One and a half hours later, she was talking to the mother of a child with this second rare disorder. At the time, there were less than 2 dozen known cases listed! MAGIC’s system now worked outside the envelope!
By this time, MAGIC had begun to be besieged with calls from the Department Heads of major hospitals and nationally acclaimed Universities, all requesting help for families with children whose diagnoses affected their growth but were not affected by Growth Hormone. This posed a difficult and yet very important challenge. How do you sustain a quality “personal” organization on such a large scale? After all, our priority is to offer effective support. And after a great deal of research into the best possible methods, MAGIC segmented into divisions. Growth Hormone Deficiency for Children was first, followed by McCune-Albright Syndrome.
Today, MAGIC has 10 primary Divisions, and provides Network Coordinators for additional disorders. Each division is headed by a parent whose child’s diagnosis matches that division. These consultants offer a personal focus, providing meaningful support to the unique needs of each family.
Never faltering in strength nor vision, MAGIC conducted the world’s first National Convention in 1995 for these disorders. For most, it was their first opportunity to meet and socialize with families of similar disorders. It was also the first time these incredible children had to meet other kids just like them. Friendships were formed instantly and the convention became an annual event. Families from all around the world attend.
Today, MAGIC is headquartered in Oak Park, Illinois and employs a full time staff of a mere 4 people. Glued together by dedicated volunteers, this hard working group annually responds to an excess of 11,700 phone calls, 20,000 requests for educational materials, all educational programs and other support services the Foundation offers. Our database is one of the world's most comprehensive of its kind and includes (among other things) a worldwide networking system with more than 11,000 families listed.
MAGIC is guided by personal experience. We know that it’s crucial for people everywhere to have support. For those unable to call, write or visit MAGIC, a web site is accessible. People throughout the world can access medical information, reach other affected people and our full range of support services.
Word about MAGIC eventually spread to affected adults. And once again, The Foundation received a high demand to implement new Divisions. Today, our Adult division offers a separate quarterly newsletter, networking specifically for adults, a National Educational Convention and is headed by an affected adult. Together, the adults not only find solace in meeting each other, but they enjoy mentoring the kids! They give hope to everyone!
We dream of clinics throughout the country, dedicated specifically to the early identification and treatment of growth related disorders. A place where research is conducted and no person goes without medical treatments.
We see in our dreams, and we work till we sleep!
To review the personal stories from the Founders, see the Founders Section.
Summary of the past year's program service accomplishments - click here.
MAGIC's Motto: Children have a short time to grow and a lifetime to live with those results.
History of George Chmiel and MAGIC
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