A magical kingdom has emerged on an acreage in Swift Current, Sask.
It comes complete with a soaring turret, fairy gardens, a slide and, of course, sleeping quarters fit for a princess.
“This is my bedroom,” said 7-year-old Bella Thomson, of her favourite room in the castle which is stocked with comfy cushions, a pet butterfly and glowing lights for when the sun goes down.
“I never believed dreams could actually come true like this.”
The fantastical playhouse sprouted to life earlier this month with the help of Bella’s magic wand, a sprinkle of fairy dust and Make-A-Wish Saskatchewan.
Bella was born with three rare conditions, including severe combined immunodeficiency and a rare bowel disease called Hirschsprung’s. She spent the first two years of her life in hospital.
She qualified for a wish at the age of one when she had a life-threatening bone marrow transplant. When was six, she made her wish for a fairytale castle.
About a year later, Make-A-Wish sent Bella paper drawings of her playhouse and told her to plant them in the backyard and sprinkle them with fairy dust to help them grow.
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After a recent bout with septic shock, Bella and her mom Kyla had to spend some time in the Calgary and Toronto Sick Kids Hospitals. While they were there, something magical occurred in the Thomson family backyard.
“We made a plan to surprise her when we got home from hospital. So dad was in charge of sprinkling fairy dust and watering,” Kyla Thomson said.
“We put cardboard on the door so she wouldn’t see it when she was walking in the kitchen when we first got home.”
Bella’s Make-A-Wish team arrived at the acreage, and Kyla put a blindfold on Bella and took her into the backyard for the big reveal.
“She was shocked! First, she looked at Allison, our Make-A-Wish coordinator, and she was like ‘Allison’s here!’ Then she turned around and gasped and dropped her wand and just ran!” Kyla said.
Since then, the Thomsons have been spending hours every day in the playhouse, which was designed by Saskatoon’s Real Fake Creations.
Kyla says one of the best parts about Bella’s rise to social media stardom has been the comments and reactions she receives from followers.
“Seeing the messages from people who see Bella and say that seeing her inspires them to keep going,” said Thomson, who had to quit her job to become a full-time medical mom.
She and Bella have now created a merchandise line, branded “Bella Brave.”
“It’s been a huge blessing for us because we wanted to do this for a while since I can’t teach anymore. Being able to run our own merch line is a huge part of being able to provide for my family as a medical mom.”
The Thomsons are looking forward to a summer full of fun and activities in Bella’s prairie palace.
Meanwhile, Bella will be awaiting a call to receive a bowel transplant, needed as a result of her Hirschsprung’s, which could involve up to a year of recovery time.
“I’m just happy that she has time to enjoy her wish before we get that call.”