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Aug 30, 2015 10:28 PM

Hampton boy battling leukemia gets dream (tree) house


HAMPTON - When the Make-A-Wish foundation asked 11-year-old Jack Hansen what he wished for, he didn't give the typical response of going to Disney or meeting a celebrity.

Instead, Hansen wanted something that would last a lot longer and that he could share with his friends. He wanted a tree house.

But as the Hampton boy enters seventh grade, it's his health that has been the biggest challenge: he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia last December.

“At that moment on, all you hear is white noise," said his mother, Amy Hansen. "You don’t hear anything other than leukemia.”

Jack spent 144 days in the hospital. It was not easy – but he was determined.

And as he built up his strength, a dedicated group of volunteer carpenters built up his wish.

“They would come here on the weekends, and after work, and work almost just as long days to get this thing completed," said Whit Hansen, Jack's dad.

It took about four weeks to finally complete the project, and it was unveiled Sunday- as Jack got to go inside for the first time.

"It's awesome!" he shouted. “No words. It’s just – wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.”

The tree house includes a bed to sleep, dozens of toys and games, lights in the ceiling and even a mailbox.

But despite the incredible gift, Jack still reflected on what he's learned about sickness - and how lucky he feels to be returning to health as his cancer enters remission.

“You start to realize that you really liked school," he said. "It teaches you not to take as many things for granted.”


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