Construction on dream tree house for terminally ill boy begins; group still looking for help

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DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Volunteers gathered in Durham to begin construction on a dream tree house for a terminally ill boy.

Jamie's Dream Team, based in Pennsylvania, took on the project for 8-year-old Lorenzo Andrade-Cruz. Volunteers stepped in to help after watching our ABC11 story.

"I feel so happy about it," Lorenzo said.

Jamie Ward, the founder of Jamie's Dream Team, is in town to launch the construction.

"I'm so excited to be able to help this family," she said. "I think the tree house is an escape for Lorenzo, where he can go and get his thoughts and really regroup as a child and feel like a kid."



Lorenzo has ALD, a genetic condition which affects the brain. He lost both of his brothers to the same condition.

Steve Smith, of Pittsboro, lost a son in a car accident and was moved to help.

"How could you not be touched by that story, especially with a mother who's already lost two children and now may be facing a third child?" Smith said.

The Animal Planet TV Show Treehouse Masters is stepping in with special equipment and planning assistance.

Although Lorenzo doesn't have any symptoms now, that could change.

That's why volunteers are making the tree house wheelchair accessible. They're installing a ramp from the driveway that'll take him straight to the front door of the tree house.

"He might not be able to walk again," Ward said. "We're going to make this handicap accessible to when he can't walk, he can still go in that tree house and he can still get that piece of mind."

The tree house is expected to be completed by Halloween.

"It's going to be high so I can play," Lorenzo said.

He has a message for volunteers coming together to grant his wish.

"Thank you so much for helping me make this tree house," Lorenzo said.

Volunteers are letting cement for the post set and will continue building in a few days.

They are still looking for donations for material to complete the tree house and more help.

More info here.
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