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Make-a-Wish 2015: Eric’s Wish

Eric's Wish

It’s not every day you meet someone this amazing.

The request came across Tim’s desk in February of 2015. Tim, the owner of Pro Home Improvement, had never heard of Eric or his story, but he read on and was stunned.

Eric is a young man who has significant health challenges in his life. He has Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EOE), ulcerative colitis, he is hearing impaired, has asthma, connective tissue disorder, and an eosinophilic granuloma bone tumor on his back.

Eric gets sick every day 3 to 5 times a day and has not developed correctly internally because of the lack of nutrition.

He can not eat any food and is fed through a feeding tube for 16 hours a day. Eric also has muscle weakness.

All of these things together make it hard for him to socialize and fit in with others his age. He can’t keep up and is always in extreme pain.

It took 6 and a half years for Eric to be properly diagnosed because there was no medical code for his disease until 2008. There are no FDA-approved drugs or treatments. Eric’s family travels to Cincinnati every three months for checkups.

All of this combined left Eric, his mom and dad feeling alone and without anywhere to turn.

Eric’s doctor suggested they contact Make-a-Wish to see if there was anything that could be done to bring some relief and joy to this heartbroken family, so they did. After hearing about this, Eric got excited and pondered the possibilities and dreamt of his own hideaway, a place of his very own.

Eric wanted a treehouse, but not just any treehouse.

Eric submitted his request, and that’s when it came across Tim’s desk. Tim was immediately ready to help. His company, known for roofing, siding, gutters & insulation projects, was not in the business of building treehouses, but he was ready to learn and build the best treehouse in Michigan.

Tim and his team came out to brainstorm with Eric. What did he envision? What was his dream? With these plans in place, Tim and his team got to work, building Eric’s dream.

Eric got excited, thinking about the future, even helping design different features of the treehouse. These moments gave Eric and his family something to focus on, besides his health issues. It was a welcome reprieve.

The treehouse was finished in late August, culminating in the opening ceremony with everyone involved.

After the event, Renee, Eric’s mom, is quoted as saying:

“Eric feels like people care and understand. Make-A-Wish came along when our family was being torn apart and put us back together. Make-A-Wish MADE a difference. The mental healing is so important with physical conditions. When you feel like you have no control over an illness, you get stuck there. Having this tree house built and the planning of the tree house gave our family something else to focus on. It has helped us get through some hard times.”

If you can, please consider donating to the charity inspired by Eric’s story, Guided Steps by visiting http://www.guidedstepscharity.org or to Make-A-Wish at http://michigan.wish.org.