CROWN POINT, Ind. — For decades, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has been making dreams come true for kids battling serious heath problems.
This week, the organization granted a 5-year-old girl in Crown Point, Ind., her special wish: a dream playhouse she can share with her beloved dogs.
"The inspiration for Annabelle's playhouse was really her love of her dogs," said Lori Zimmer of Make-A-Wish. "Her two favorite things are to play with her dogs and be outside, so we kind of put some creative thinking together and came up with a dog-themed playhouse for her."
Make-A-Wish teamed with community members in Crown Point to construct Annabelle's dream house over the past several months. Every single piece of the home was donated by a local business.
"I would do this any time over any [other] project if I could," carpenter Richard Hunter said.
"It was good, especially to see what comes afterward and the happiness on Annabelle's face," said Adam Blossom of Base Electrical Services.
When she was 2, Annabelle was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy that is not treatable with medicine. Frequent seizures have taken a toll on the 5-year-old and her parents. For them, this isn't just a playhouse. It's the one place their little girl can be surrounded by everything in her life that's good.
"It just brings joy to you as a parent that you can't describe," mother Melissa Dybzinski said. "It's so nice to see her so happy."
"I hate to say it," father Doug Dybzinski said, "but we've seen her at her worst in hospitals, and to have a day like this is amazing."
Doug Dybzinski choked back tears thanking all of the volunteers who made his daughter's dream home come together.
"You try to make it through every day and hope something doesn't go wrong," he said, "and then you get a call from Make-A-Wish saying that they're gonna put a smile on your daughter's face. Not for a day — but a long time. This is gonna last a long time."
Annabelle's parents were so appreciative of the playhouse that they requested it not be permanently cemented to the ground. They wanted to be certain that once their daughter outgrows it, they could gift it to another young girl who would love it just as much as Annabelle does.