Reporting Bud Gillett
ANNA (CBS 11 NEWS) - While home building is on the rebound in Texas, a very special house was dedicated today…a tree house from the Make-A-Wish group for a brave Anna teen who’s facing medical problems.
The deadline was close. Finishing touches went on just as the guest of honor rode up. 13-year-old Nicole Stockton had seen only concepts until she opened her eyes to see the end product for the first time. “Oh, my gosh!” she exclaimed. “Oh, my gosh! Thank you guys so much!”
Later she spoke to CBS 11 News about it, reflecting current slang. “It’s ginormous, I thought it was tons smaller, I didn’t know it was big, as big as it was.”
It has bedroom big enough for her and her identical twin, Ashleigh; a living area and a breezeway. But this wasn’t her first choice, according to Make-A-Wish wish-giver Tammy Weiss. “Justin Bieber was her first wish, and he has a waiting list of like 95 people in front of her, so she decided she didn’t want to wait 5 years.”
The structure is not so much a true tree house as it is a giant structure built on telephone poles. She plans to spend a lot of time in it with her twin, according to Weiss.
“She’s out in the country and she just loves to be outdoors with her and her sister and she wanted a place they could spend their time together.”
Nicole and Ashleigh train foster dogs and play sports. Nicole is recovering from major surgery to remove a bone tumor from her neck.
“I usually have almost daily pains but I like to ignore them and try to get through the day,” she says adding, “It’s hard but usually I can brave up and say, ‘That’s how I am.’”
The promised tree house helped speed her healing, according to her mother Michelle Stockton.
“(It) Really helped Nicole get through a tough surgery and recovery and all of that. It’s just incredible!”
While it was organized by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, it took the volunteers and skills of more than a dozen businesses and agencies to bring it all together, including the architect firm 5G Studio Collaborative, Spring Valley Construction Company, CenterPoint Energy, Triune Services Group, and Parkhill Development Corporation.
Her parents are proud this is something lasting, and eventually bring others happiness.
“When my girls grow up and move off to college and someday we sell this house, there’ll be other kids that get to use this. So this is a wish that could stay forever, and that’s kind of really neat,” according to Nicole’s father Matt Stockton.
Nicole not got her own hard hat from the volunteers, but a special tree housewarming gift to remember from her grandmother. A wooden sign to match the décor, and it says “No Boys Allowed.”
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