Kids Wish Network Elevates Jacob’s Play to Higher Ground

jacobs new playground

“Everyone has been absolutely amazing, and we are so grateful to everyone involved with helping make our sweet Jacob’s wish come true!”

Jacob was born with Chiari malformation, a condition that causes the cerebellum to push into the space normally occupied by the spinal cord. Having Chiari also led him to develop a syrinx, a fluid filled cavity in his spinal cord that required surgery. An MRI revealed further issues, and Jacob underwent an additional brain surgery. Jacob’s health challenges continue, being under observation for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a group of inherited disorders that affect connective tissues. Jacob suffers with multiple symptoms from his conditions including headaches, muscle weakness, numbness in his arms, hands and legs, as well as body temperature issues. He often wakes up in the middle of the night from debilitating pain. Jacob’s conditions have also caused delays in speech and motor skills.

Jacob loves being outside, and hoped for a special play space. For Jacob’s wish, his backyard was transformed into his happy place with his own fun-filled playground. With the help of many caring people, Jacob’s wish turned into the play space of his dreams.

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In the fashion of a barn raising, the community came together for a very heartwarming playground raising. Sam’s Club #6528 in Cincinnati generously donated Jacob’s massive playground, a Backyard Discovery Timber Swing Set filled with all his favorite features. Marco’s Pizza and Papa John’s Pizza provided food for all the volunteers. The Union Township Professional Firefighters Association Local 3412 made it their labor of love, coming to the rescue and making sure it was built in time for Jacob’s surprise reveal. Additional thanks to the Habitat Young Professionals for assisting with the big undertaking.

“Helping Jacob with his swing set was an honor for us to take part in,” said Franco DelZotti, Firefighter/Paramedic of the Union Township Fire Department. “Thank you for what you do for the kids!”

The hardest part for Jacob’s family was keeping the backyard construction under wraps. When putting down the mulch, Jacob thought it was for a new garden. Before Jacob’s big reveal, his mom Melissa said, “All of our windows are blocked inside the house except for the back door, and we put cardboard on it because he likes to color. He thought we put it up there for him to color on.”

“Everyone has been absolutely amazing, and we are so grateful to everyone involved with helping make our sweet Jacob’s wish come true… this is what he really wanted and needed,” said his mom. “Kids Wish Network was there for us every step of the way, ensuring every detail was perfect. We are so very grateful for you all! And the Union Township Fire Department was so dedicated and didn’t leave until the playground was constructed.”

“It was really heartwarming seeing so many people from Jacob’s community come together to make his wish happen,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Tam Lai. “It’s a very special playground, built by wonderful people for an amazing little boy.”

Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following sponsors for making Jacob’s dreams become a reality:

  • Sam’s Club #6528 Cincinnati
  • Union Township Fire Department
  • Marcos Pizza
  • Papa John’s Pizza
  • Habitat Young Professionals