- Associated Press - Monday, May 15, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. (AP) - All 9-year-old Natalie Macie wanted was her very own treehouse and what she got was a two-story mini-McMansion to complete her wish.

The fully decorated double-decker treehouse has a walkway, a deck, eight windows, two doors, a loft and a ladder to get up there, plus a finished living room with carpets, lights, a hammock chair and two bean bag chairs.

It’s even got an authentic Vermont Treehouse license plate to mark the spot.

On Saturday, Macie celebrated the “reveal” of her new arboreal hideaway with a pizza party sponsored by Make-A-Wish Vermont. More than a dozen family members and friends attended.

Macie only had three words to describe her awesome gift: “Oh my god!”

“Every wish is so different, so it’s really fun to put it all together,” said volunteer wish-granter Janice Wightman, who presented the wish at 4 p.m., followed by a brief tour.

Natalie, like her sister, Marley, 7, suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening medical condition that causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system.

The inherited disease requires daily care and there is no cure. However, people with the condition are able to attend school and work and have a better quality of life than in previous decades, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Make-A-Wish Vermont grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. A wish is often the turning point in a child’s recovery, Wightman said.

Since 1989, Make-A-Wish Vermont has granted over 775 wishes.

“Our mission is to grant the wishes of children living with life threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy,” Wightman said.

In January 2016, Marley was granted her wish of a trip to Disney World, courtesy of Make-A-Wish Vermont.

Wightman said Make-A-Wish raised the money to hire contractors who specialize in tree-house building for Natalie’s special three-week project. The treehouse is made from rough-cut hemlock and pressure treated wood built around three large maple trees in the Macie’s backyard.

Built against the edge of a steep hill, the structure has electricity and can hold up to 30,000 pounds.

“It’s really cool how it’s Dr. Seuss themed and there’s a little loft. It’s got lights,” Natalie said.

Her grandmother, Lisa Macie, was equally as impressed.

“It’s absolutely perfect. It’s great for the kids to have a place to go. We feel blessed,” she said.

Next-door neighbor Keith Veysey said he’s seen many tree houses during his lifetime, but nothing like Natalie‘s.

“It’s nice. It’ll be here for a while,” he said.





For more information: Claremont Eagle Times, www.eagletimes.com



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