A 6-year-old boy who uses a wheelchair was surprised with a custom-made log cabin in his backyard that is inspired by a cabin he fell in love with at a camp for kids with serious illnesses.
Evan Vaudry, of Cumberland, Rhode Island, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) at 18 months old. The genetic disease affects the control of muscle movement, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Evan, who will attend first grade in the fall, is not able to stand and has only recently, thanks to a newly approved medication, been able to sit for long periods unattended, according to his father Stephen Vaudry.
Vaudry and his wife, Lynne, took their son last year to Dream Day, a summer camp on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, for kids with serious illnesses. Of all the activities at the camp, Evan loved the log cabin the family stayed in.
“We stayed in a little cabin that was really rustic and he loved it and thought it was so fun,” Vaudry said. “He mentioned, ‘Yeah I’d like to have a cabin at home.’”
Last Sunday, Evan got his wish when he got to go inside a log cabin that was driven straight to his backyard from a company in Ohio. The cabin surprise was coordinated by Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes to children diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
The cabin features two entrances, a wheelchair ramp, a chalkboard, rocking chairs, its own mailbox and door knocker, and, most importantly, completely open space for Evan to maneuver his wheelchair.
“Evan’s parents told us that the first thing he wanted to do the morning after his cabin reveal party was sit by the window and look at the cabin,” Charlotte Beattie, CEO of Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island, said in a statement to ABC News. “Stories like that motivate all of us at Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island to reach our goal of fulfilling the wish of every eligible child.”
Vaudry and Evan will be the cabin's first overnight guests this weekend when the father and son plan to "sleep out" in their new digs.
“It’s on the back of our property near trees so it’s like his own cabin in the woods,” Vaudry said. "When I came home from work yesterday he was out in the cabin and didn’t want to leave."
Play dates are also already on the schedule for the cabin, which features a sign out front that reads “Evan’s Cabin Est. 2017.”
"Every day Evan wants to go in the cabin," Vaudry said. "He can’t spend enough time in there.”