A 4-year-old in Westfield that has been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition has asked for one wish that will soon be granted.
'Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island' will make Darren McQuade's dreams come true to build a dinosaur-themed playhouse in his backyard.
Darren's backyard in Westfield has been filled with working firemen taking down fences, digging holes and chopping wood; but not for an emergency.
"The department was contacted by the Make-A-Wish foundation to finish a playhouse for a little boy in town whos got some health issues and of course we were more than happy to do that," said Westfield Paramedic/Firefighter Joe Coach.
The Westfield Fire Department is helping to finish the interior of the soon-to-be playhouse, and a new fence.
"Being a firefighter is more than just going to emergencies. We're part of a community and if people ask for help, we'll be there," Coach noted.
After seeing the spunky, talkative, 4-year-old Darren McQuade, you'd never know he was diagnosed with Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy.
"It's a degenerative muscle disease. Right now he's perfectly fine and healthy, maybe a little slower than the average kid trying to run but it will get progressively worse and there is no cure," said Darren's Dad, Steven McQuade.
Peg Wheble is the Regional Director for Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She tells Western Mass News, the wish is seen as part of the treatment for every child.
"If this wish can come true then it gives them power and strength to believe that [they] can fight through the illness and deal with this one day at a time," said Wheble.
Darren's parents say they chose a playhouse to of course 'play' in while he's young, and also so he has somewhere to escape to.
"The nice thing is in in the future it can be modified to keep him entertained and happy as he gets older. It's just a space for
him, whatever he wants to use it for," McQuane continued.
There's still a lot to get done but the Westfield firefighters are hard at work.
Darren's big reveal will be on May 21.
Darren celebrates his 5th birthday on Saturday and we'd love to wish him a very Happy Birthday from all of us at Western Mass News!
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