There is no denying that Danny Wood loves trains.
The four-year-old from Topeka, Kansas always reaches to play with his toy trains and his parents, Jeanette and Joe, say he never fails to point out trains when they travel.
The energetic boy is not unlike many young children, but he lives with a degenerative condition called Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which will likely cut his life short in his 20s.
“It’s like being picked the most amazing, beautiful flower, and then praying it doesn’t wilt,” Jeanette told CBS affiliate WIBW. “We’re enjoying every day with that beautiful, flowering gift.”
— Make-A-Wish Kansas (@MakeAWishKS) July 2, 2015
When the Make-A-Wish foundation heard about Danny through the Children’s Mercy Hospital, they wanted to give Danny the opportunity to let him live out his passion for trains every day by building him his own railroad track with a train to boot.
The charity was able to secure an old mini train, get it fixed up by a local auto body shop, and even recruited members of the military to help build the track, station and play area.
“We’ve had 15 business, clubs and associations involved with this. And hundreds and hundreds of volunteer hours,” said Dr. April Abernathy, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Kansas.
Another sneak peek of the wish story coming tomorrow! We can't wait for you to see this wish. It will inspire you. pic.twitter.com/iziHN2jYuW
— Make-A-Wish Kansas (@MakeAWishKS) July 1, 2015
Danny finally saw the end result on Saturday – his backyard transformed into his own little train theme park.
“The smile on Daniel’s face was priceless. It made all this worth it,” said Dean Koelzer, owner of the auto body shop that fixed up the locomotive. “To see the smile on that little boy’s face was truly amazing.”
Jeanette and Joe are hoping Danny will continue to be a light in the lives of others.
“He makes people pause and remember what’s important in life,” said Jeanette. “There have been literally hundreds of people that have shown love to a little boy they’ve never met, and they have no idea what it means to our family.”
© 2015 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.