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Adding Magic to Medicine

Make-A-Wish Builds Dream Playhouse for Cook Children's Patient

If you had the opportunity to have one wish granted, what would you wish for? This may seem like a magical question to some or even silly to others, but for thousands of children with life-threatening medical conditions it can be therapeutic and even a life changer.

Katherine Brower was 11 years old and midway through her treatment for a rare and aggressive form of cancer at Cook Children’s when a Child Life Specialist asked her to start thinking about what she’d wish for.

“Katherine is one of the most creative individuals that I have ever met. I knew she would be a perfect Make-A-Wish candidate, not because of her diagnosis but because she is very humble,” said Laura Sonefeld.

At first, Katherine thought she’d wish for a trip to Disney World, but right before it was time to make her wish official, she changed her mind.

“I didn’t even know she was going to wish for a playhouse until she told Make-A-Wish,” said Carol Brower, Katherine’s mother.

After giving it a lot of thought, Katherine decided to wish for a place where she could have sleepovers with her friends, watch TV with her brother and do her homework. She had the whole house planned out, down to the paint colors and the furniture inside, and drew blueprints for the builder to follow.

Her mother says the plans were elaborate.

“I told her, ‘You know, whatever they do is going to be really cool, but I don’t know if it will be that cool.”

Soon after making her wish official, the work began. Construction crews were in and out of the family’s backyard for months, carrying lumber, lighting, flooring, and even electrical equipment. All of it was donated by local businesses.

"One of my favorite parts about my wish was just seeing it all come together over time," said Katherine.

Flash forward nearly a year and the pictures Katherine drew of her perfect playhouse have come to life. Make-A-Wish held an official wish reveal last week and Katherine finally got to see inside. Besides a desk for homework and a loft for sleepovers, there’s also a mini fridge, a microwave, a TV and even AC and heating so she can enjoy her playhouse year round.

“Having a wish to dream about during that difficult time really lifted her spirits,” said Carol. “Seeing it come together just shows there are good, kind, and caring people out there. It’s really encouraging.”

"I am so thankful for all of the work that so many people put in to make my wish special," said Katherine.

Now Katherine and her family have seen another wish come true.

She is no longer undergoing treatments and is well on her way to being a healthy and happy kid.

More information about Make-A-Wish North Texas

  • 583 wishes granted in North Texas in 2015
  • Cook Children’s referred 143 children to Make-A-Wish in 2015, helping add magic to the medicine
  • Grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. It is a common misconception that these wishes are only granted to children with cancer. Children from many specialties including; cardiology, hematology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, genetics and rheumatology have wishes granted.
  • Speak to your health care team about Make-A-Wish or visit for more information.
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