REPUBLIC, Mo. – OzarksFirst viewers may remember Annabelle from a story in May 2023.
Well, she’s still just as fun and silly as she was in May when her parents set to meet with Make A Wish about her dream for a backyard play set.
Since then, that Make-A-Wish dream has changed to an upcoming trip to Tennessee.
However, this morning, family, friends, and volunteers came together to bring that initial dream to life.
“It’s probably one of the best moments that you’ll ever experience in your life,” Megan Bartholomew, a volunteer with Roc Solid Foundation said.
“In June of this year, we got a call [from Roc Solid] saying Bass Pro wanted to sponsor Annabella, and I was like, ‘they want to sponsor her for this? Are you sure?’ Tiffany Meyer, Annabelle’s mother said. “They set up the date and she’s just been so excited about it.”
Roc Solid, headquartered in Virginia works with local outlets to sponsor families.
They specialize in bringing play sets to the homes of children battling cancer. It comes from the foundation’s founder overcoming pediatric cancer.
“We identified the partnership with Bass Pro, and we reached out to the hospital and the hospital is the one that referred this family,” Bartholomew said.
Annabelle, who is doing better, still battles B-cell leukemia.
Volunteers met at the Meyer home at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning to get to work building the backyard playground.
The build was completed before 11:30 and that’s when Annabelle and her siblings cleared their schedules for one thing only: playtime.
“Seeing Annabelle, Desmond and Isabelle light up and run out there, they just get to be siblings again. They get to be kids,” Bartholomew said “They get to play together and [with] this, see almost a weight lifted off of the family’s shoulders because even if it’s only for a couple of minutes or even a couple of seconds, they’re not thinking about cancer. They’re not thinking about the current journey that they’re on. They can just be here in this moment and be together.”
Everyone involved today knows the play set won’t make the struggles disappear, but they hope it will allow the kids to continue to be kids.
“It’s not going to cure it, it’s going to defeat cancer because that gives them something to look forward to,” Bartholomew said. “It brings back just that little bit of normalcy for the family, and it just gives them something to do together.”
“Really grateful. Really thankful, just overwhelming,” Tiffany and her husband David said. “We’re just so grateful for everything that everybody’s made this possible, and to be able to actually have a little piece of the childhood back so much.”
The Meyer family tells OzarksFirst, that Annabella is still on a treatment plan that ends next August.