Andrea was only 15 when she was diagnosed with leukemia. Chemotherapy was necessary to save her life, but caused extreme joint pain and made her feel ill most of the time. Unable to attend school, she felt isolated from her friends.
Andrea hoped a hot tub might relieve her joint pain and become a gathering place for friends and family. Given the expense involved, her family reached out to Make-A-Wish who in turn contacted Marquis. The company readily agreed to help, and was so inspired by the experience it developed a lasting partnership with Make-A-Wish America that has endured for two decades.
Since fulfilling Andrea’s wish back in 2000, Marquis and its network of independent dealers have helped to fulfill nearly 900 wishes for children with critical illnesses. More than $6.5 million in donations and discounts have been provided to Make-A-Wish America, Make-A-Wish Canada and Make-A-Wish United Kingdom. But according to John Schrenk, Marquis Corp. president and CEO, the investment runs a lot deeper than money.
“Make-A-Wish is woven into our company culture,” Schrenk says. “Every wish we help to fulfill is a reminder that—first and foremost—our products help people. This gives each of us a personal sense of pride and purpose, knowing our products ease physical and mental discomfort. Especially for wish kids and their families.”
Twenty years later, Andrea is cancer free and loving life with her husband and daughter. The family recently purchased a new Marquishot tub. “The Marquishot tub I received from Make-A-Wish was still working when we moved out in 2014,” Andrea says. “It was an amazing hot tub, so why shop anywhere else? Plus, Marquis has well-reviewed and quality products, and provides great customer service. We appreciate that Marquis has continued to work with Make-A-Wish and fulfill other wishes just like mine.”
To help manage the logistics involved, Marquis employs a full-time wish coordinator who works with local Make-A-Wish chapters. Once Marquis builds and ships the hot tub, the nearest local dealer provides final delivery and installation. The vast majority of Marquis Dealers are small, family-owned businesses. But they frequently donate their time and labor to ensure a smooth experience, as do many local electricians and cement contractors. Local fire departments even volunteer to fill the hot tub with water. Such generosity often inspires the entire neighborhood and surrounding community.
Founded in 1980, Marquis is celebrating its 40th anniversary and its 20th anniversary as an official Make-A-Wish sponsor. The employee-owned company remains committed to helping children with critical illnesses, and will never forget Andrea whose wish for a hot tub still inspires hope.