A seriously ill seven-year-old’s dream Minnie Mouse-themed cubby house has become a reality, thanks to Make-A-Wish foundation.
Arlyn was born with congenital heart disease and has no pulmonary valve.
She has had three open-heart surgeries before her first birthday, one of which sent her into a cardiac arrest.
This trauma to her brain at such a young age left her with mobility problems and she could not walk until she was three.
Arlyn also has an intellectual disability and she only talked for a year at age six.
Her mum Stacey Radford kept the big reveal of the dream cubby at their Beaconsfield family home a surprise.
“I think she was a bit bewildered. Although she knew it was coming, we didn’t tell her when it was going to arrive, so it was a big surprise for her to find the cubby in the backyard one day when she came home from school. I think she was a bit overwhelmed,” Ms Radford said.
“She had some friends come over that day and she plays in it with her younger brothers and sisters too.
“The first thing she does every morning is look out the window to check that it’s still there.”
Pakenham business Country Cubbies designed and donated the cubby house, allowing Arlyn to put in a special request for the pink and purple colour scheme she wanted.
The cubby is decked out with everything Minnie Mouse, her favourite Disney character: Minnie’s face adorns the walls, curtains and even a special play kitchen.
Ms Radford said Arlyn’s favourite thing to do in her cubby was to make food out of sand.
“She loves making McDonald’s,” she said.
“Arlyn’s gone through a lot with her health, and is always being poked and prodded.
“I can’t speak kindly enough of the people at Make A Wish. This cubby has brought her so much joy. It’s made a huge difference to see her so happy.
“All that a mother wants is to see her children happy and healthy. We’ve dipped out on the healthy with Arlyn, but bringing her happiness has gone a long way.”
Make-A-Wish operates in almost 50 countries across the world, bringing hope, strength and joy to children at a time they need it most.
The organisation has granted more than 8000 wishes to children and teenagers with life-threatening medical conditions across Australia since 1985.
Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.