The Short of It
A sick little girl just got the playhouse of her dreams, thanks to an amazing group of girl scouts.
Hannah Mae Campbell is the only known survivor of a disease called Diffuse Rhabdomyomatosis, which causes tumors to grow in her heart.
"[It was] a benign tumor that took over her heart valve," Hannah's mom, Jennifer, explained to ABC News. "This was a tumor throughout her whole entire heart organ. Her heart was growing and it wasn't going to stop until it killed her."
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After dozens of blood transfusions and surgeries, the little warrior got a heart transplant when she was just 4 months old. Now that Hannah is 4 years old, her suppressed immune system makes simple, everyday things like hanging with friends or just going to the grocery store dangerous.
"Hannah depends a lot on her immunity to get her through," her mom says. "She can no longer have chicken pox or measles vaccines because they are live. Those could potentially kill her. We just have to be careful."
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Which is why when Girl Scout Troop 44017 heard the little girl's story, they sprung into action to lend a hand as part of their service project. They came out to talk to the family before getting started so they could find out about Hannah's favorite things. And then, a few days before Hannah's birthday, the troop showed up to build her a playhouse—in the pouring rain!—in the family's backyard. They furnished it with a doorbell, real flowers, a little plastic picnic table, a plastic grill, and of course, plenty of fake food.
"She told them she loved to cook fake food and garden and plant flowers and her favorite color was orange," Jennifer said. "Her imagination is just going to work. She has just been absolutely in love with this playhouse. It's just been amazing. She doesn't want to leave."
But the charitable scouts weren't done yet. They also invited Hannah to attend their "bridging" ceremony, where they graduate from junior to cadet scouts.
"They're going to walk her across the bridge and then present her with the sweatshirt on the other side," said troop leader Amber Johnson. "From the beginning, they always wanted to make her an honorary Girl Scout. It was so much bigger than just the house."
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I can't even imagine what it would be like for a child to have to stay home most of the time and miss out on all of the things most other kids take for granted. That's why this story is a win-win in my book. Not only is the playhouse an incredible gift for Hannah and her family, but the process of building it was a wonderful lesson in compassion and cooperation for the girl scouts, too.
Amazing job, ladies!