Vernon Parish, LA. (KALB) On Thursday morning, the finishing touches were put on a personalized library to surprise 14-year-old Carissa Gillis.
"She's going to be really excited. She has no clue it's coming," said Carissa's Mom, Cindy Smith.
Carissa was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma Bone Cancer in April. Mother Cindy Smith says it's been a long journey but 'Team Carissa' has been there every step of the way. "When we started this journey she was in a wheelchair and couldn't walk, now she can walk. Lots of family, lots of help for sure because while I'm there with her I have to have someone else here with the other children and driving back and forth takes quite a toll...I have good days and bad days."
And today is one of the good days. Louisiana foundation 'Dreams Come True' grants wishes to children with life-threatening diseases. Carissa, a book lover, wanted her own library. "It just takes you to a different world," said Carissa.
A world that family, friends, Dreams Come True and local state troopers helped create. A place for Carissa to just be a kid.
Carissa was told to wake up early Thursday morning unaware of the surprise. Although she says she would have preferred to sleep in, she says it was really worth it. "All my friends can come here. Thank you to everyone!"
Christopher Wright, president of the State Troopers Association in Alexandria said "We helped build this building and when Miss Becky from Dreams Come True called us instantly I knew this was something for us to get involved with. And then it all comes together no matter how hot it is. When she got out of that truck and saw this building, that's what it's all about."
The Dreams Come True foundation grants some 70 wishes annually, each one a blessing to Director Becky Prejean. "I've been doing this for over 25 years and when I stop and think about it, it's like wow, that's a long time. But when you get dreams like this, everyone is a new beginning. For me this is a big God wink."
To make a dream come true for a child battling a life-threatening disease, call Dreams Come True at 225-341-3484.