Zachary boy undergoing cancer treatment gets surprise from Dreams Come True of Louisiana

Updated: Sep. 9, 2020 at 9:28 PM CDT
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ZACHARY, La. (WAFB) - A 5-year-old boy in Zachary got a special surprise Wednesday, Sept. 9 in the form of a brand new treehouse.

Ethan’s family found out around Mardi Gras that he had a tumor the size of a softball in his body. He had surgery to have it removed, then underwent radiation treatments, and now only has a few chemotherapy sessions left.

Dreams Come True of Louisiana, a non-profit organization that grants wishes for kids in the state with life-threatening illnesses, granted Ethan’s wish for a new treehouse, which was unveiled Wednesday afternoon.

The treehouse was donated and built by a Zachary area contractor and is valued at around $6,000. Dreams Come True of Louisiana also donated items to fill the treehouse for Ethan and his three young brothers to play with.

“When I called to interview this little boy, I just fell in love with him. Ethan is precious, and he said Mrs. Freddye, I want a treehouse,” said Freddye Smith, with Dreams Come True of Louisiana.

“We just felt like this was very fitting and such a special occasion,” said Jennifer Waguespack, with Level Homes.

But 2020 has been rocky for the 5-year-old.

“Ethan has stage 3 Wilms tumor. He was diagnosed on Mardi Gras Day, February 25. And the next day he went in for emergency surgery, it’s pediatric kidney surgery. They removed his kidney and the tumor,” said Amber and Nick Johnson, Ethan’s parents.

Ethan is a fighter. He’s had to go to numerous radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

“Take it day by day. That’s all we can do. We’re very, very faithful and we believe that our God will carry us through all this,” said the Johnson’s.

And community members like the police and fire chief, showing up to support how far this family has come.

“And that’s what the community’s about here in Zachary. It’s coming together, helping each other here in this town, and being a unity for everybody,” said Zachary Police Chief David McDavid.

The treehouse even has lights, one of Ethan’s favorite parts.

But the best part for Ethan is to share the memories, with his brothers for years to come.

“You know, it’s just really amazing, you know when we’re going through, in a sense, a family crisis that people have a heart, even with the current pandemic that is going on. People have been very very gracious and generous with their gifts and everything,” said Ethan’s parents, Nick and Amber Johnson.

Ethan is now in remission and is on the road to recovery.

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