“Harry Potter” Magic Brings Joy to Children Fighting Serious Illnesses
At Hogwarts, a sick or injured student might seek treatment under the care of the magical and marvelous Poppy Pomfrey. Here in the Muggle world, wizarding world magic is bringing joy to sick children far and wide.
Started four years ago in Rhode Island by a Bryant University business management class, Project Playhouse works with local organization Rosemary’s Wish Kids and the talented carpentry students at local high schools to build customized playhouses for children experiencing serious illness.
In March, the students from Coventry High School Regional Career and Technical Center finished work on a spectacular ode to the Boy Who Lived, built for seven-year-old Hailey Fish, who was diagnosed with leukemia in August 2017. Now in remission, Hailey was thrilled to receive her Harry Potter playhouse. Her dad, Brian, reflected on her battle.
She’s our hero. She’s been through so much. We’re very proud.
This year, Hailey was the third child chosen by Rosemary’s Wish Kids to receive a customized playhouse, the first a Transformers house built for two-year-old Patrick and the second an underwater-themed house for seven-year-old Michael. The construction experience was as formative for students involved as for Hailey, with senior Derek Moore calling it “the best of [his] high school experience.” Sponsors for Hailey’s Harry Potter playhouse included Navigant Credit Union, Target, the Tomorrow Fund, McGraw Hill Education, Bishop Hendricken High School, and Camp Sunshine.
Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, ten-year-old Landon Cabell, a proud Harry Potter and Jurassic Park mega-fan, was surprised to discover that his wish to travel to Disney World, Jurassic World, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter would be granted by Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Landon, who has been fighting leukemia since he was nine, learned the exciting news when he arrived at Broken Arrow High School to find that the students there had decorated their own magical world just for him, after having raised half of the $10,000 needed to fund Landon’s wish. Landon expressed his gratitude for the spellbinding effort.
I loved it. I was just very surprised because nobody told me, but it was awesome. I loved it.
Scott Smith, a member of the Tornado Alley Division of the Jurassic Park Motor Pool, said that the fanfare of the announcement was an excellent way of teaching the high school students compassion, while Landon’s mom, Angel, shared her joy.
I’m just glad that Landon feels the love and attention. He’s not done with treatment until May of 2021 so he still has awhile, but he’s in a good place.
Long after the series’ conclusion, Harry Potter continues to bring joy to wizards and Muggles alike. The magic never ends, and time and time again, it does extraordinary things in Muggle communities.