When 8-year-old Katie found out she was eligible to receive a wish, she began dreaming of a quiet place that would be just hers, far away from the stresses of her leukemia diagnosis, doctor appointments and hospital visits. The idea for a pink playhouse, complete with a doorbell and window boxes, began to form, and her Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia wish granter volunteers ran with it.
“One of my favorite parts was the first time we really started to talk about her house and what she wanted,” shares Katie’s mom, Amanda. “She was so excited when she realized she could say whatever she wanted! We looked up lots of playhouses and drew photos together. The highlight was watching her realize she could create something that was really hers.”
Construction on the playhouse began, and each detail was carefully thought out so the finished product would be exactly what Katie had in mind. No detail was too small; the house was outfitted with a doorbell, window boxes and even a mailbox, just like Katie imagined. Off to the side, there is even a birdhouse that is a replica of her house, and Katie was delighted to hear that a bird had made it her home, and was creating a nest to lay eggs.
Katie has spent months away from home, living at the hospital and going through challenging treatments with her mom by her side. Katie has stayed involved through every step of the construction process, though, by carefully tracking the progress through photos and carefully choosing things for her house. Once construction was completed, Katie was able to visit her playhouse in person, take part in a ribbon cutting ceremony, and explore all that her house has to offer. Though she is not yet able to go home from the hospital permanently, the anticipation of going home for good and having her playhouse waiting for her has given her something to focus on and look forward to during her most difficult days.
Katie, mature far beyond her eight years, also shares how much she already looks forward to passing down her playhouse to her baby sister Ellie, who was her bone marrow donor just a few short months ago. Thanks to the We Promise Foundation, the charitable arm of Chartway, HeritageWest, and SouthWest Community that sponsored Katie's wish, these sweet siblings will make many wonderful memories in Katie’s perfectly pink playhouse.