The longtime Arizona Department of Public Safety officer who co-founded the Make-A-Wish Foundation passed away at his home in Prescott, Arizona. The cause was esophageal cancer.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, helps fulfill the wishes of children with critical illnesses. Started in 1980, the organization can trace its roots back to a 7-year-old boy with leukemia named Christopher Greicius.

It was Chris’ dream to be a Highway Patrol motorcycle officer like the characters on his favorite TV show, “CHiPs,” according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Shankwitz was one of several AZDPS officers who made Chris’ dream come true by allowing him to be the first and only Honorary Arizona Highway Patrol Officer. This position came with his own uniform, badge, and motorcycle officer wings, CNN reports.

Chris died just days after his wish had been fulfilled, and Shankwitz led the funeral procession, AZDPS reports.

This experience inspired him, along with his wife and several others to create the foundation. Shankwitz was the foundation’s first president and CEO.

According to the Make-A-Wish Foundation website, the organization operates in nearly 60 other countries around the world and through 39 national affiliates. The foundation grants a wish to a child every 34 minutes in the U.S. and its territories. This is thanks to the help of thousands of donors and volunteers.

“Frank’s passing has created a loss in our lives that will take time to heal,” his family said in a statement on his Facebook page. “However, we are comforted knowing that the legacy he left will continue to carry on in all those who knew him.”

“The number of lives he touched throughout the world with the creation of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, his career in law enforcement, his service in the Air Force, as well as the impact he made through all the other organizations he gave his time to in recent years, is a testament to the man he was,” the statement added.

He was 77 years old.

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