SLIDELL, La. - With each hole drilled and each panel set, one group of Slidell firefighters built a dream Saturday morning.
They put together a swing set as a surprise for a 4-year-old girl who has fought a hard battle.
Aidea Pierce was diagnosed with a large cancerous tumor on her kidney last year. Doctors were able to remove it, and she underwent radiation treatments. Now, she's in remission.
“It's been a long road, a lot of hospital stays,” said Aidea’s father, Nathan Pierce.
And all the work on the playground was worth it when Aidea arrived home from a morning with her father, and ran straight to her new play set.
“Daddy, look at me,” she squealed.
Aidea’s family said the swing set is a sign of brighter days to come now that she's done with her treatments.
“You get through it, you get to the end, and this is the finale, and I'm very grateful,” said Nathan Pierce.
“It's like, [after] everything she went through, she finally gets to have her own little bit of fun,” said Christy Pierce, Aidea’s mother.
Saturday marked the first time the Make-A-Wish foundation has teamed up with the Slidell Fire Fighter's Association. It likely won't be the last.
“I would do this all day long, everyday, to see a kid have that kind of smile on their face. I love it,” said Chad Duffaut, Slidell Fire Fighters Association president.
“You know, just seeing the joy on their face, feeling like you're a part of something that's bigger than yourself, it's a good feeling,” said Gary Reviere, a Make-A-Wish volunteer.
Little Aidea has never been able to resist swings. After one lengthy surgery, she asked her parents to take her to a nearby swing set.
“We start pushing her and I'm standing here and it's swinging back and forth, and someone's got to hold all those IV tubes and everything, and she swung,” said Nathan Pierce.
Now, little Aidea can swing anytime she wants.
“Thank you. That's all I got,” said the 4-yea-old, as happy as could be.
If you would like to find out more about the Make-A-Wish Foundation, call the Louisiana chapter. That number is 504-846-9474, or you can log onto http://www.texgulf.wish.org/.