While other children run outside to play with their friends, little Brody from Connecticut wishes he could join them. Unfortunately, stepping out into the sun leaves his skin covered in blisters.
The 4-year-old was born with Chiari malformations, or defects in the skull that press into the brain and force it downwards into the spinal canal. As a result, Brody’s body can’t regulate his temperature while he’s outside. He also has to be tube-fed from a special electric backpack he always wears. And the medications he takes don’t mix well with the sun’s UV rays.
But recently, the boy’s lifelong wish to go outside came true… in a way. All it took was a little creativity to give Brody the best birthday he’s ever had.
Back in 2017, The Make-A-Wish Foundation contacted Brody’s mom Julia Rubin. She already had an answer when they asked what they could do for the little boy: find a way for him to go outside. Specifically, Julia was hoping they could create a temperature-controlled play area that would allow Brody to be outside and free of sun exposure. It may have taken a couple of years, but the foundation came through.
With the help of a U.K.-based company, they built a deck in the family’s backyard, then set up a tent complete with grass-like turf, toys, and a water table to give Brody the best experience possible. Brody finally got to step inside — or, should we say, outside — on his fourth birthday. And the look on his face said everything.
“I saw firsthand when his adorable face lit up as he walked ‘outside’ to see his cool ‘outdoor’ space,” said Debbie Artinian with Make-A-Wish.”I have been making wishes come true for six-and-a-half years and it never fails to bring tears to my eyes, a smile to my face and joy to my heart.”
Finally, Brody was doing what all the other kids got to do all the time — just in his own unique way.
His favorite part? Playing with the water table. Because of his feeding tube and backpack, Brody can’t go swimming. But thanks to his friends at Make-A-Wish, he can splash around in his tent as much as he wants!
The best part about this incredible gift is that Brody can use it over and over. And something tells us he’ll never get sick of entering his own little piece of happiness.
Watch as Brody experiences the “outdoors” for the first time below, and don’t forget to share.
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