LUSK, WY (7/12/2012) -Four-year-old, Francheska Bannan, of Lusk has gone through more in her short, little lifetime, than most grown-ups ever will. Retinoblastoma had stricken the spunky little girl with the big smile in June of 2011, and she’s been fighting it ever since. After being diagnosed with the aggressive cancer, Francheska was referred to Make-A-Wish(r) Wyoming by her social worker. When Francheska met with her wish granters this past May she grinned at the thought of having her biggest wish come true. Francheska knew precisely what her wish would be: a playhouse fit for a princess! She imagined being a princess with her very own playhouse, having a perfect place for a tea party.
Last week, Francheska spent the night at her grandparents’ house, and there was a special delivery while she was gone. The following morning, as the car pulled in the driveway, friends and family gathered in the living room and waited quietly. Francheska walked up the steps, opened the door, and quickly made her way through the kitchen. As she set foot in the living room, everyone shouted surprise! Francheska was not quite sure what was going on. There were balloons and cake, but it was not her birthday. Her mother Leslie whispered in her ear to remind her about the special day they had discussed: the day when she would receive her wish. Francheska suddenly realized, today was that day.
Francheska bolted out the front door and around to the side of the house. Before her stood a wood playhouse with a pink door and a white porch. Francheska herself had carefully chosen the colors: toasted almond with sky blue trim and cotton candy pink doors and windows. She stepped inside as a grin filled her face. A pink Strawberry Shortcake loveseat and chair were in one corner and her very own kitchenette in the other. She climbed the ladder to investigate the loft, or her bedroom as she referred to it. Everyone watched as Francheska opened her gift bags and pulled out a brand new tea set; she jumped in the air as she saw what it was. Immediately she got busy playing, cooking and cleaning in her dream kitchen, and of course taking a break here and there on her new sofa set. She played with family and friends in her new home the rest of the day, as well as bright and early the next morning.
Make-A-Wish Wyoming depends on support from businesses and community members to grant wishes like Francheska’s. Make-A-Wish was able to fill Francheska’s playhouse with everything she would need for a perfect princess tea party because of a $500 gift card they received from Toys”R”Us(r), Inc.
Toys”R”Us(r) Inc. supports organizations that share in its mission to keep kids safe and help them in times of need. As part of their 2011Wish List campaign, the company donated $50,000 in Toys”R”Us(r) gift cards to Make-A-Wish to help make the holidays brighter for children with life-threatening medical conditions. This important donation enables children’s toy and shopping-spree wishes to be granted across the country. Make-A-Wish will distribute cards to local chapters to help grant wishes nationwide.
Other members of the community also pitched in to make Francheska’s wish experience more than she had ever imagined. Bloomers, a local downtown florist donated balloons to fill the playhouse, and Jordan Auto aided in unloading the playhouse, and leveling the area where it was to be placed.
“It is incredible to see people’s generosity and willingness to help with a wish. Often times the best wish experiences are when people from the community go above and beyond for our kids,” commented Morgan Legerski, Make-A-Wish Wyoming Event/Volunteer Coordinator