Make-A-Wish special time for three young men in Brooks

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By Mary Barczak

 BROOKS - The Cissell house was full of people on a recent Saturday but it wasn’t for the normal family gathering. 

There was cake. And there was balloons. 

But, the gift was much bigger—a man cave.

Brian and Paula Cissell applied to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for their sons, Caleb, 17; Elijah, 14; and Jacob, 11, who have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, last March.

Muscular dystrophy is a disease which gradually weakens the muscles.The boys were diagnosed at a young age and are now wheelchair bound.

But on Saturday their wish was granted. 

They had a pizza party with their family and friends to celebrate. 

Elijah and Jacob smiled after seeing the room and other goodies the volunteers had brought for them.

This was the 12,000th wish the local chapter has granted.The boys combined their wish into one big one to have their garage remodeled into a man cave complete with a TV, refrigerator and screen door for cool days.

Emily Denholm, marketing communications coordinator for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana, said this will give the boys a “space space to escape and just enjoy being a kid.

”The project took about three weeks to build, said Senior Wish Program Darla Chezem.

Special effort went into making sure the floor was smooth for the boys’ chairs and that they had enough room to maneuver, she said.

The organization used local businesses to help complete the cave, “It’s very much a community coming together,” Chezem said.

Their mother, Paula, said they wanted something that would last more than one day that they could all use together.

“But we also wanted them to have someplace where they could have their own space (for their different interests),” she said.

Caleb loves NASCAR, especially Jeff Gordon. Elijah is into computers and Jacob likes LEGOs. They put an adjustable table in the man cave for him to build LEGOs on.

The boys promised that they would enjoy their man cave.

Brian and Paula said they were happy the wish was granted and thankful for the people who helped make it happen.

“We try to keep things as fun as we can for the boys,” Paula said.