- The Washington Times - Friday, March 6, 2015

A Missouri homeowners association that denied a girl with leukemia a “Make-A-Wish” playhouse has done an about-face after facing backlash from its original decision.

Ella Joe Schultz, 6, who returned home last fall after spending 112 days in a hospital, requested the playhouse for her backyard in the Kansas City suburb of Raymore, but the board of her family’s homeowners association refused, citing rules against outside structures, The Kansas City Star reported.

News of the rejection went viral — and predictably rankled readers near and far. Already a popular figure in the community — the local neighborhood held a parade for her after her extended hospital stay; police officers and firefighters shaved their heads in solidarity following her chemotherapy — the little girl and her plight quickly made the rounds on social media, turning up the heat on the homeowners association.

Under fire from all sides, the board eventually changed its tune.

“Today, we are happy to share that we have reached a positive resolution to ensure Ella’s playhouse will be constructed. Our board met with JE Dunn Construction and Make a Wish to gather additional information, and while we still have a few details and timelines to work out, we collectively reached the conclusion that Ella will get her wish,” the homeowners association said in a statement, the newspaper reported Thursday.

Ella Joe’s father, Pete, said the family was “so grateful to everyone for how this worked out,” adding that his daughter, who was back in the hospital with a fever when she got the news, was “just thrilled.”

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