A young boy in North Carolina with a terminal illness received the treehouse of his dreams that exceeded expectations thanks to a nonprofit in Pennsylvania and help from the local community.
Lorenzo Andrade-Cruz, 8, stepped foot inside his brand new blue treehouse for the first time on Wednesday, decked out with an incredible Spider-Man theme, outfitted with a bunk bed, desk, table and chairs, iPads, X-Box and more.
The young boy who has ALD (Adrenoleukodystrophy) which, according to the Mayo Clinic, is a hereditary condition that damages the membrane that insulates nerve cells in the brain, was the recipient of the special project thanks to a nonprofit owner who heard his family's story from a friend.
Jamie Ward, founder of Jamie's Dream Team, told ABC News she heard about Lorenzo from a nurse who explained, "he lost two of his brothers to ALD and would love to a have a treehouse."
"Both of his brothers passed away of the same illness, my heart was so broken for them," she said.
Although Lorenzo and his family live in North Carolina, Ward said she got in touch with his mother and made moves across state lines to put her plan into action at the beginning of August.
"Lorenzo was so sweet, he said, 'I wont be able to walk or talk, but I would love a treehouse,' so he knows what's going to happen to him and it tore me to pieces," Ward recalled.
She orchestrated volunteers along with her "Dream Team," local businesses, the Durham Fire Department and one Pittsboro man, Steve Smith.
"[Smith] called to volunteer because he had a son that passed away too," she said, adding that with Smith's carpentry background she made him the lead on the project.
Smith told ABC Durham affiliate WTVD that the new space for Lorenzo to play was carefully crafted to accommodate him, even though he has yet to experience major symptoms from ALD. Volunteers made a ramp that connects the driveway to the front door for Lorenzo's new space.
"We positioned it strategically to make sure that the deck was facing the woods, things like that," Smith said. "So once he does come in and he shuts the door, he pretty much is in his own world out here. It's really a powerful thing."
Ward also involved local businesses like Nelson's Treehouse and Supply, who she said "contacted me and sent out somebody to help do the designing and sent out all the treehouse materials that I needed."
Ward was blown away by the North Carolina community who jumped in to help with Lorenzo's wish.
Within less than a month, Ward said, Smith "called and sent me all these pictures and said were almost done."
"It makes me feel so good to be able to do this for [Lorenzo] and to see the community come up to help. We even had veterans at Fort Bragg come from three hours away to help, it was unbelievable," she said.
Ward, whose own son has cancer for the third time, said her nonprofit is "always looking for volunteers and donations all over the country" to help make dreams come true.