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Having a Ball in the Pit

“ The ball pit is a lot of fun for Ryan and also therapeutic. ”


- Drew Kershaw, volunteer with Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia

Ryan was first introduced to ball pits during an occupational therapy appointment.

Ryan helps his Dad and Make-A-Wish volunteer fill the new ball pit.

During that appointment, he and his parents learned that the ball pit isn't only a place to have a ball, but a place that can provide extreme comfort and therapeutic benefits to Ryan who lives with DiGeorge syndrome and autism.

Ryan was diagnosed with this rare genetic disorder as a newborn baby and has since undergone two open heart surgeries. He will need additional surgeries as his body continues to grow into adulthood.

The thought of Ryan's conditions were far from his mind as he floated on top of 9,000 rainbow colored plastic balls in his giant new ball pit.

Ryan floats in his new ball pit.The 14-foot structure comforts Ryan like a nest as he jumps and smiles with friends and family.

"I think what he likes the most is the pressure," said Ryan's father, John. He explained that the inner balance is off for many autistic children. The balls, he said, provide input and help to alleviate balance issues. "I'm so excited for him to know he's going to have his own ball pit that he can play in and jump in any time."

This will be here every day for years. ”

— Pat, Wish Mom

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June 25, 2012 - 11:25 AM

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Make-A-Wish® Greater Virginia
2810 N. Parham Road
Suite 302
Richmond, VA 23294
(804) 217-9474
Toll Free (800) 234-9474