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JJ's wish for a play structure

  • JJ play structure wish

  • JJ play structure wish

  • JJ play structure wish

  • JJ play structure wish

  • JJ play structure wish

“ JJ hasn’t wanted to get off the play structure since he first saw it. ”

If you’re a three year old boy, it’s hard when you can’t get out to run around, climb on things, and play with friends. It’s even more difficult when your muscles are weak and you don’t have good balance.

That is what JJ has been going through because of the aggressive brain tumor he’s been fighting. His weak immune system means he can’t go to the park, and the two types of oral chemotherapy he takes one to two times a day take a toll on his appetite and muscles.

So given the chance to have the thing he wanted most in the world, he chose his very own play structure. "He loves to climb, so he is very much looking forward to lots of stairs, bridges, tunnels, and ramps!" says his mom, Holly. Before his wish came true, whenever JJ would see a play structure while driving with his parents or on TV he would exclaim, "Ohhhh, look! Just like my special wish!"

JJ play structure wish

On a warm summer day in August, a team of volunteers, including his wish grantor Wendy, put the finishing touches on his train-themed play structure and were there to see his first reaction to it. Wendy told us, "Saturday was amazing - watching JJ as he first saw the play structure was priceless. What a sweet, sweet little boy, and a great family". And since that day, JJ’s mom has written to us to say that he hasn’t wanted to get off the play structure since he first saw it—even when it was 102 degrees outside! "This playset is going to be a huge motivating factor in terms of getting JJ focused on beating cancer and coming home to play! Thank you for everything that you do, it makes a gigantic difference in the otherwise traumatic lives of these children!"

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  • “The transformation that Make-A-Wish brings … it really empowers them and helps to better their mental health.” We are grateful for those who heal, like Lori. As a child life specialist, Lori focuses on supporting the emotional and mental health of children battling critical illnesses. She believes that Make-A-Wish provides the positive reinforcement a child needs to feel empowered while facing their challenges. Meet more heroes like Lori: sf.wish.org/worldwishday

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