Volunteers build suprise playset for three-year-old battling cancer

Posted at 8:20 PM, Sep 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-18 12:13:06-04

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – All children want to run and play, but that is hard do when you're battling cancer. That's why some local angels spent the day creating a fun zone in a Midlothian child's backyard. Three-year-old Claire Drennan is undergoing cancer treatments as she battles acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, but the volunteers gave her a reason to smile today.

They surprised her with something she can play with for years to come, but the gift will also help with her rehabilitation as she fights for life.

On this Thursday morning a group of about 30 volunteers got together for the special cause to surprise Claire with a new playset.

Eric Newman is a cancer survivor and Chief Play Officer of ROC Solid Foundation.

His foundation builds playsets to support children battling cancer.

"The one thing that kids lose out when they go through something like this is play. So what Roc Solid does is make sure that kids play and they smile,” he said.

"Her immune system is so low that it doesn't allow her to go to a public playground and play,” said Susan Morris,  a volunteer from Keller Williams Midlothian Real Estate. “So Roc Solid and Keller Williams Midlothian have partnered together to take care of that.”

The group constructed the playset in a little over three hours and were all ready for little Claire and the Drennan family to see the finished product.

Her mom Tara Drennan carried Claire into the backyard with the crowd of volunteers cheering and clapping.

“It's just amazing to see so many people willing to help and come out and show all this love and do something amazing for us and our kids,” said Claire’s dad, Travis.

“She has some issues with walking and her legs so this is going to be helpful for that, and climbing is one of things she does in therapy and now she can do it more,” her mom said.

Claire takes daily medicines for her illness, and receives chemotherapy once a month. If all goes well she could be done with treatments in 16 months.

Her mom fought back tears as described Claire’s strength, "she is the bravest and strongest and toughest person I know and she is just three years old."

Clearly Claire has an amazing support group. She was a little shy at first but once she went down the slide she wanted to go again and again with dad.

You can bet this is only the beginning to plenty of good times in their backyard.

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