HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — "Play defeats cancer" is the motto for community members who helped build a playground set for a 5-year-old girl battling pediatric cancer. With more than a hundred screws, several drills and a dozen helping hands, they all worked toward the power of play.
“We believe that play defeats cancer and the reason why we say that is because when the child is out on the play-set and the family is out there making memories, what's the last thing they're thinking about? Cancer," Janet Dobson, a volunteer with Roc Solid Foundation, said.
The Roc Solid Foundation is a nonprofit organization that builds hope for children in the form of a playground set.
On Thursday, with the help of Winn-Dixie and Gwaltney, a play-set went home with Haley, a 5-year-old girl battling pediatric cancer.
“We can't change the fact that these families are going through the worst period of their life, that these children are fighting cancer, but we can change the way that they live with it," Dobson added.
Haley thought she was getting groceries from Winn-Dixie but was blindfolded in the parking lot as her newly built playground set awaited her.
“When we came in and they finally move the trailer she was just standing there in shock. She just had no idea. First thing she said is oh, my gosh, oh ,my gosh, mom," Delia Murillo, Haley's mother, said.
Life just got a bit more fun for Haley and her family.
“For me, it means so much because the process has been very hard. I've been with her from the very beginning. And it's been very hard because just from the word cancer, it's terrifying," Murillo added.
But on Thursday as Haley swung on her new playground set, hope wins.
Her new play set was transported to her house where lasting memories will be made.
"She is going to be the happiest kid," Murillo said.