Diagnosed at 6 months with a hematologic condition, life has been hard for Kaleb. He has had two bone marrow transplants and countless hospital stays. An active child, he misses being able to play outdoors. When he is not feeling well, seven-year-old Kaleb watches movies. The first time he watched Sandlot, he was hooked! He has watched the movie about a gazillion times since.
Inspired by his favorite movie, Kaleb wished for a Sandlot-inspired playhouse. With the help of Kretschmar Premium Deli Meats and Cheeses, WCCO-TV, Gardner Builders, Coborn’s and other partners, Make-A-Wish® Minnesota set out to make Kaleb's wish a reality. Volunteers from WCCO-TV and Gardner Builders spent more than a week on the WCCO rooftop building the one-of-a-kind playhouse. At the same time, a construction crew laid the foundation and built the towering deck in Kaleb's backyard where the playhouse would be placed. Once it was completed, the playhouse was craned off the rooftop of WCCO-TV and made its trek to Gaylord.
Kaleb could hardly contained his excitement as the official unveiling of his playhouse approached. On a sunny June afternoon, Kaleb arrived home in style escorted by the actor, Patrick Renna, who played "Ham" Porter in the movie Sandlot and the Gaylord Police Department. At the first sight of his playhouse, Kaleb's eyes lit up spellbound by the magnificent structure that greeted him. Complete with a towering deck, hammock, tire swing, bright yellow slide and even a fireman's pole, his playhouse is exactly how he had planned it!
"Life has not been easy for Kaleb. Looking forward to his wish gave him something positive to focus on," said his mom, Traci. "It gave him hope that things will get better," Traci said. Traci is thankful to the community who came together to help make Kaleb's wish come true.
Kaleb's wish is more than just a great experience for a day, two days, or a week. His playhouse will be retreat that is all his own where he can relax and hang out with his friends. Kaleb looks forward to hosting many camp outs at his playhouse.
Many, many thanks to all those who stepped forward to make Kaleb's wish a reality. Special thanks to Kretschmar Premium Deli Meats and Cheeses and Coborn’s for sponsoring Kaleb’s wish, and WCCO-TV’s Accomplish Minnesota outreach program for helping connect Make-A-Wish® to the community such as Gardner Builders who volunteered to build Kaleb’s unique playhouse.