5-year-old battling pediatric cancer given new playset at South Tampa Winn Dixie
TAMPA, Fla. - As a large semi-truck drove away, five-year-old Haley Murillo could finally see the result of hours of volunteer work.
"She was just standing there in shock, saying ‘oh my gosh, oh my gosh mom,’" Haley's mother Delia Murillo said through a translator.
Haley and her family were staring at a newly-built children's playset, sitting at the parking lot of Winn-Dixie in Hyde Park.
"When you see the smile on that child's face when they come out and see that playset, makes it all worthwhile," volunteer Janet Dobson said.
Dobson volunteers for the Roc Solid Foundation, a non-profit that builds hope for children with pediatric cancer by building playsets in their backyard. They were founded in 2009, building 633 playsets in the last 12 months.
Dobson joined around 20 volunteers from Winn-Dixie and Gwaltney Foods. They spent a couple of hours building the playset, which featured two swings and a slide. After Haley played, volunteers partially took the playset apart and will put it together in the family's backyard in Riverview.
"This is community at work right here. Everybody is uplifted," Dobson said.
Haley has a Wilms Tumor, a type of childhood cancer. She's been receiving treatment at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital.
"For me, it means so much because the process of Haley's sickness has been very hard," Delia said.
Because of the nature of pediatric cancer, many children can't play at public playgrounds.
"We believe that play defeats cancer, and the reason why we say that is because when that child is out there playing on the playset and the family is out there making memories, what's the one thing they aren't thinking about? Cancer," Dobson said.
Haley's playset is one of six planned for the southeast region this summer. They are part of Gwaltney's Building on Hope campaign, which features a $50,000 donation to the Roc Solid Foundation.