SAN DIEGO — What is already an almost unimaginable challenge for any family has been doubled for the Morrisons from San Diego County: not just one child diagnosed with leukemia, but two.
Last year, the family celebrated as big brother Graham rang the customary bell with loved ones and medical staff that signified the end of his cancer treatments. While he remains in remission, his little brother Ian has now been diagnosed with the same cancer.
The boys have another brother, Blake, and doctors have discovered that all three have a rare genetic disorder which puts them at higher risk for leukemia.
As parents Kadee and James navigate the challenges of Ian’s treatment and the kids’ uncertain medical future, they say the three boys have grown even closer, serving as each other’s support systems as they tag along for clinic visits, chemotherapy treatments and procedures.
Play time away from any hospital or doctor’s office is their true escape, but between the COVID-19 pandemic and the boy’s existing medical precautions and limitations — especially while Ian is in treatment — public play places are hard for the family to visit.
Enter Make-A-Wish San Diego, which made Ian’s dream playground come true right there in the family’s Bonsall backyard: “Bowser’s Playhouse,” styled after the Nintendo character’s castle, complete with a slide.
“It was such a gift because Ian has spent a lot of time hospitalized this year,” Katie said. “(It’s) been such a gift for him to have something really special at home to do.”
They even have matching outfits, as seen in adorable video shared by the family, showing Ian pad out to the yard in a Bowser costume.
“The boys, they love it. They’ll dress up in Mario and Luigi costumes, and Ian wears his little Bowser costume,” Blake told FOX 5. “Right after we got it, they’d wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning and say, ‘Dad, I got my shoes on!’ … They’d just play in there nonstop.”
Watch James, Kadee and the boys’ full interview with FOX 5 above.