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Examiner
  • Blue Springs boy gets a wish granted: A special playhouse

  • Remember that movie Tom Hanks was in years ago, “Big,” the one in which he played a giant piano-on-the-floor by stepping from key to key?



    Josh Martin got something a lot like that on Thursday.

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  • Remember that movie Tom Hanks was in years ago, “Big,” the one in which he played a giant piano-on-the-floor by stepping from key to key?
    Josh Martin got something a lot like that on Thursday.
    His “sensory playhouse” is a gift through the Make-A-Wish organization, given by Kretschmar Deli Meats & Cheeses, and area Price Chopper stores.
    “They spent many, many, many hours out here doing this,” said Andi Malick, wish co-ordinator for Make-A-Wish in the metro area.
    Josh lives in Blue Springs. He’s 11. He’s legally blind and has cerebral palsy. He also loves music and plays T-ball, and his father, Chris, said he has “a very contagious laugh.” His father said he doesn’t much like being in the yard because he has to sit and the grass is irritating. But the playhouse – a spiffed-up outdoor shed with a variety of items of different colors, shapes and feels – gives the family an easier way to get outside. The house even talks, telling Josh, “I hope you like your house,” among other encouraging things. There was a large, green stuffed frog inside. And there’s the piano.
    “He loves music. Music is his favorite thing in the world,” said his mother, Cheryl.
    The playhouse was designed with input from Josh’s parents, teachers and therapists.
    “Our wish granters work pretty hard with the family and the child,” Malick said.
    Overall, his parents say, Josh is doing well.
    “We try to keep him engaged in things that keep him happy,” Cheryl Martin said.
    Michael Sargent, brand manager of Kretschmar, said the company became a nationwide sponsor for Make-A-Wish last year.
    “We really feel strongly about Make-a-Wish – good cause,” he said.
    The company was looking for a local project, and it wanted to work with Price Chopper, which sells its products and worked to raise money for the program, some of which went to Josh’s project.
    “Price Chopper’s been a great partner here locally,” Sargent said.
     
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