Wish granted

By RICHARD LUKEN
Register Reporter

 

Register/Richard Luken
From left, Katlin and Jonathan Cress and Jaedon Carisle wait patiently while crews construct a new wooden playset at the Cress home in Iola. The playset was purchased with proceeds from the Kansas Make A Wish Foundation for Jonathan Cress.

A pretty nifty wish by Jonathan Cress came true Friday.
Cress, an 8-year-old suffering from neurofibromatosis, is the proud owner of a new fort, courtesty of the Kansas Make A Wish Foundation.
A crew from Kids Creations, Garnett, came to Iola Friday morning to install the elaborate wooden playset at the Cress household along North Kansas Ave.
“Oh, yes, I’m excited,” Cress gushed while the fort was assembled. To bide his time, Cress occupied himself with his own set of toy hand tools.
Cress, younger sister Katlin and playmate Jaedon Carlisle watched intently while the Kids Creations crew methodically assembled the fort.
“I figured I’d be working today, but they’re so fast that I’m sure I’d be in the way,” said Gene Vaughan, a Make A Wish representative. “So I’m just watching.”
Vaughan and his wife, Kim, of Caney, were on hand to oversee the installation.
The work went smoothly as the crew assembled the fort by noon, and the youngsters quickly made themselves at home.
The redwood fort comes with a corkscrew tube slide, three sets of swings, a rope disc, balcony and rock climbing platform. In addition, a small walkway connects the two-leveled structure.
The slide was a particular attraction for the youngsters, who took turns sliding down and attempting to crawl back up.
“He has wanted a fort for what seems like forever,” said Jonathan’s mother, Sharon Cress. “But they were out of our price range.”
Enter the Make A Wish folks, who combed the state for the perfect play area for Jonathan.
“We were fortunate in that we found Kids Creations, which is a relatively local business for the work,” he said.
Neurofibromatosis is a genetically inherited disease in which nerve tissue grows tumors throughout the body, particularly along the nervous system. Also known as elephantasiasis or “Elephan Man’s Disease,” the disease has no known cure.
Katlin Cress, who turns 7 later this month, also suffers from the disease, Sharon said, and she, too, has a wish pending from the Make A Wish Foundation.
She doesn’t want another fort, however.
“I want to go on a shopping spree,” she said.