When the Make-A-Wish Foundation approached Kellan Tilton, promising they'd try to fulfill his deepest desire, the 3-year-old could’ve asked for anything in the world: a trip to Disneyland, perhaps, or a meeting with his favorite athlete or celebrity.
But Kellan had something else in mind. He told the organization that all he wanted was a way to easily get from his Maine house to the barn on the property where his dad and his seven siblings spend a lot of their free time.
Make-A-Wish happily obliged.
"He could have taken a trip anywhere," the organization’s marketing director Sonya Purington told CBS News. "For him, what was most important was to be able to go outside and -- as he said -- 'wheel myself from my house down to the barn.'"
Kellan uses a wheelchair to get around. When he was born, doctors discovered a cancerous tumor in his abdomen and spine, prompting several rounds of chemotherapy and a nearly 10-hour surgery to remove the growth.
Kellan is now cancer-free, but the position of the tumor left the child paralyzed from the waist down. Kellan can drive his wheelchair "better than anybody can drive a car now," said his dad, Dan Tilton; but the boy still has difficulty at times getting around the family's property.
“For him, it was about freedom and mobility,” Tilton told ABC News of Kellan's wish to have a passageway linking the house and barn. “Before the path, he had to wait and could only go out if he was carried.”
Earlier this month, Make-A-Wish, partnering with a local construction company, started work on Kellan’s pathway.
The project reportedly cost about $15,000.
The official reveal of the finished bridge will take place over the weekend, but according to Kellan's dad, it's a huge hit already.
"He's been buzzing up and down that path all week long," Tilton told CBS News. "Every morning and every night, it's the first thing he wants to do when he wakes up and last thing he wants to do before he goes to bed."
Purington says she's thrilled that Kellan will have the pathway he's long wanted.
"His wish was simple, humble, impactful," she said. "I'm glad it will enable him to be with family and spend time with his best friend -- his dad."
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