CENTREVILLE — Katelyn sat with her parents and watched all the kids, including her big sisters, race around the playground. She was so disappointed that she couldn’t join in, but her wheelchair could never roll around in the sharp, chunky mulch. There was no way for her to climb up the stairs or speed down the slide safely. Instead of playing with her sisters and having a fun day at the park, Katelyn was forced to sit next to her parents and watch from afar, which happened all too often.

At age 7, Katelyn often discovers the same situation with local playgrounds. Her nervous system disorder means she spends most of her time in a wheelchair and she can’t always enjoy the same activities as her sisters. All she wants to do is play, play, play, and she’s often let down when she can’t enjoy the same playground fun as her sisters.

When she found out she was eligible for a wish from Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, Katelyn wished to have an accessible playset. She couldn’t wait to have her very own playground in the backyard of her home in Centreville to enjoy every single day. Katelyn told Make-A-Wish she feels the happiest when she can play and feel included with her family and friends, so an accessible playground was perfect for her.

Katelyn was excited to see her new playset. She hoped it would have swings, a tall slide, monkey bars, a spinner and even a track for her to use the power wheels on her wheelchair.

On her big day, Katelyn watched as the playset was built and couldn’t wait to try out each part. When she finally tested it out, she was excited to see stairs wide enough for her wheelchair, swings that she could easily reach, monkey bars to hang off and a curly slide with safety mats to catch her at the bottom. It is the perfect hangout spot and Katelyn is eager to hang out for hours, creating new memories with her sisters and friends for years to come.

While Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic continues to grant the wishes it is safe to grant, such as Katelyn’s, the vast majority of wishes are currently on hold due to COVID-19. With your help, Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic will still bring the hope of a wish come true to local children battling critical illnesses as well as to the communities around them. To learn more about local wishes and how you can keep hope alive for wish children in your community, visit midatlantic.wish.org.

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