Fifteen-year-old Macen has a very special place to escape to whenever she wants. It’s a playhouse—complete with windows that open and close—that sits in her backyard; a haven for Macen to draw, watch movies and escape from the day-to-day.
Macen’s playhouse is also a reminder of her strength and the power of a community that came together to bring her joy in an unimaginably difficult time.
In the years leading up to her wish, Macen’s life had left her family full of uncertainty. It all started in 2002 when her mother, Ashlynn took her to the doctor for what seemed like a routine infection. Later that week, Ashlynn noticed her daughter stopped wanting to walk and had inexplicable bruising and red bumps forming on her body. That’s when they went back to the doctor for a diagnosis that would change everything: leukemia.
“It was long and scary at times,” said Ashlynn. “She was so little and I think she just thought this is how life is.”
Macen’s treatment was long and strong, and more than her little body could handle. Just when they thought Macen had won her battle with leukemia, doctors determined it had returned. Macen needed a bone marrow transplant so her body could fight the cancer.
Finally, a break came in the form of a wish. Life, for courageous Macen, began to look up thanks to you. You made Macen’s wish for a playhouse come true.
Macen wanted to have her own space where she could do art, watch movies and have slumber parties with her friends. You gave Macen all this and more—you gave her an escape from the hospitals and doctor appointments that filled her young life.
“The wish was huge for Macen. Anytime she was having a rough time or needed some alone time, that was her safe place,” Ashlynn said.
Now, more than a decade after her wish, Macen looks back on the joy that you made possible.
“(My wish) helped get me and my family through some really rough times,” said Macen, who is now 15 years old and free of leukemia.
Today, she has years of happy memories in her playhouse to look back on, and she still has a place to go that’s all her own. “I still like to go there,” she said. “The most special part of my wish is that I still have it today.”
Special thanks to wish-granting volunteers Tanya Wicks and Tammy Heth for helping to grant Macen’s wish.