Fort Hood soldiers work to help make a seven-year-old's wish come true

POSTED: Friday, July 25, 2014 - 6:13pm
UPDATED: Friday, July 25, 2014 - 6:21pm

A special little boy will receive a big surprise on Monday from the Make-A-Wish foundation.

Antonio Laguna, the seven-year-old son of Sgt. Frank and Candace Laguna,was diagnosed with a rare terminal disease called Rapid-onset Obesity with Hypothalamic dysfunction, Hypoventilation and Autonomic Dysregulation (ROHHAD) at age six.

While having the opportunity to wish for anything he wanted, the superhero lover could have wished to meet Spiderman or a NBA star. Instead, he chose a wish most boys his age wouldn't, he asked for a greenhouse.

On Friday afternoon, members of the Fort Hood Bravo Company 115th BSB, along with landscaper and Backbone Valley Nursery owner, Ben Robertson, banded together for one mission, working to make his wish come true.

The new greenhouse will hold a multiple variety of exotic fruits, provided by Backbone Valley Nursery. The state of the art greenhouse will also have a self sustaining system for when Antonio is away for treatment.

Those treatments have consisted of numerous rounds of aggressive, high dose chemotherapy at John Hopkins Hospital in Maryland. While on a break from treatment, that's when the love for gardening and exotic fruits blossomed.

"We took him to picking farms where he picked strawberries and blueberries... we also visited the National Arboretum in Washington D.C." Said Candace Laguna.

Despite spending countless hours on a hospital bed, Sgt.Laguna is amazed at how his son takes everything in stride, with a smile and a joke.

"He flew through chemo like it was water. It didn't phase him one bit. They expected him to be laid out, in pain and going through all the worst symptoms a chemotherapy patient goes through, he did not. He didn't even blink, he was up and walking everyday and flirting with the nurses."

When the family first received news of their son's diagnosis, they were devastated. Not surprisingly, Antonio took the news with wisdom beyond his years.

"When we told him what was going on, he took it a lot better than we did. He just said, 'God is awesome don't you know? I'm not afraid to go to heaven.' My son is my rock, when it should be the other way around. He's an old soul." Said Sgt. Laguna

"He had met another ROHHAD child with a ventilator, he told me, "I don't want that. 'I looked at him and said, if thats what keeps you with momma, I would like to keep you longer. Antonio responded, don't you read you're bible? Heaven is not so bad...I don't want that. I can't run here with a ventilator but I can fly in heaven." Said Candace.

While the days pass, the soldiers will around the clock, to help make the dream of growing a garden become a reality.

To follow Antonio's journey clicking here.


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