When most families reach out to the Dream Factory of Central New York, an organization that grants wishes to chronically ill children, they have a child who dreams of going to Disney World. But for Isla Landon, a 7-year-old who was born with oculofaciocardiodental syndrome, a rare condition that causes congenital cataracts and glaucoma, something else was on her wish list.
“When I asked Isla what she wanted, she quickly exclaimed that she wanted a treehouse,” says Donna Ferich, a volunteer with the Dream Factory. “Her dream then grew from a simple treehouse with a ball pit to an elaborate structure with a zip line and slides.”
To make Isla’s treehouse dream a reality, Donna and co-volunteer Lori Lupo reached out to local vendors, including Pat Seaman, owner of Woodhouse (timberframe1.com). “When we were asked to help, the whole Woodhouse team became excited about making Isla’s dream come true — and her smile during the construction phase made every second of our efforts worthwhile,” says Pat.
Pat and his architect met with Isla and her family to draft the design and quickly came up with a virtual tour of the treehouse. Since Isla could potentially lose her sight completely at any moment, finishing the build was very time sensitive, but they got it done — and the result is more than Isla could’ve imagined. “To see how excited Isla is about the treehouse has been amazing,” says her dad, Jim. “We feel so fortunate that this can be done for her.”