This dad who built an epic igloo for his kids with disabilities is winning hearts

The incredible igloo took five hours to build.

This dad who built an epic igloo for his kids with disabilities is winning hearts
Dan Thoms
January 16, 2019, 11:09 AM

A dad in Ohio took playing in the snow to the next level to make the classic childhood experience accessible for all of his kids, including two who use wheelchairs.

Gregg Eichhorn of Cincinnati spent five hours Sunday building a wheelchair-accessible igloo so his daughter Zahara, 19, and son, Elijah, 9, could both wheel through it.

"The kids and I were discussing while we were throwing snow around that we should make something handicap accessible so Zahara and Elijah could use it," Eichhorn, 34, told "Good Morning America." "The kids jumped in and helped for a couple of minutes here and there as we built it."

Gregg Eichhorn, bottom left, and his sister, Sarah Brantly, pose with Eichhorn's daughter, Zahara, in a snow fort.
Dan Thoms

Eichhorn and his wife, Katie, have adopted eight children and are soon to adopt a ninth. All of the kids have special needs.

"We want to show much joy these kids have brought to our lives," said Eichhorn, adding that the hours he spent building the fort were worth it because of the kids' amazed reactions.

Gregg Eichhorn poses with his son, Elijah, in a snow fort in the family's backyard.
Gregg Eichhorn

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Zahara, who was adopted from Uganda when she was 13, has cerebral palsy, according to Eichhorn.

"Zahara lights up with any attention, so she was excited to go outside and have people out there with her," he said.

Zahara Eichhorn, of Ohio, poses in a snow fort built in her family's backyard.
Dan Thoms

Elijah is also in a wheelchair and has cortical visual impairment, which interferes with communication with his brain and eyes, explained Eichhorn.

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"When he went in the fort, his eyes opened instantly and you could see he was processing what was going on as he was surrounded by white," Eichhorn said. "It was very special to see him process that."

Elijah Eichhorn, of Ohio, poses in a snow fort built in his family's backyard
Gregg Eichhorn

Eichhorn and his kids eventually added a slide to the igloo, which is still in the family’s backyard. The igloo went viral when Eicchorn's friend posted pictures of it on Reddit.

"Zahara and Elijah have both been back in it since Sunday," said Eichhorn.

Gregg Eichhorn added a slide to the snow fort he built in the family's backyard.
Gregg Eichhorn