Chloe Hammonds, 12, now has her own dance studio in her garden.
BELTON, Texas — A wish came true for a Belton teenager on Wednesday. The Make-A-Wish Foundation and many volunteers built a dance studio for 12-year-old Chloe Hammonds in her own garden.
“So grateful to even have this opportunity because not many people have this opportunity,” said the lucky teenager.
She was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis before the age of 2. She had to do daily treatments and had many regiments of medicine. Her older sister Mylie Hammonds saw her through it all.
“She just inspires me to do my best because she’s 12 and she can do pretty much anything,” Mylie Hammonds said. “She’s wanted it for so long and she fully deserves it.”
But the process of Chloe’s wish has been shaken up and slowed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has completely changed what we do,” said Kathrin Brewer, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Central and South Texas. “Before, 85% of our wishes were to travel and now none of our wishes are about travel, other than local, and so it really forced us to learn a whole new way of being.”
The Make-A-Wish Foundation needs to be creative and find new ways to make children’s wishes come true, like redoing bedrooms or building swimming pools, etc.
“Chloe’s wish was special in that we really had a hard time figuring out a wish,” Brewer explained.
Chloe was determined to visit a place she’s always wanted to go for several years, but because of the pandemic, her wish will turn into a gift she’ll get out the back door. Volunteers spent months designing and building the dance studio from scratch.
“We got it and I think it’s so much better because it’s not a once in a lifetime opportunity, we can have it, it’s gonna be there forever,” Chloe explained.
His own dance studio also benefits his lifestyle and health, exactly what the doctor and father demand.
“A dance studio would give her a great opportunity and a safe space at home to be able to continue dancing and stay active,” said Craig Hammonds, Chloe’s father.
A dance studio was chosen as Chloe’s wish because it’s such a big part of her life. Her family said she had been dancing since she was young, even in her high chair.
“It’s such a big part of who she is and she’ll just dance in my room, she’ll dance around the house, dance in the kitchen,” Mylie said.
Chloe would have to move furniture to organize performances for everyone and everyone who wants to watch.
The Make-A-Wish opportunity gave Chloe a lesson in hope and a message to share with others.
“Don’t let your illness define who you are and be so grateful that you can let other kids be aware of what you have, you can teach other people,” Chloe said. “There are other people who are like you, you can help them and you can just share what you have.”
And now she has a forever place in his thing.
Chloe’s favorite dance style is hip-hop and contemporary. She particularly enjoys dancing to music that has great beats.
The Central and South Texas Make-A-Wish grants approximately 300 wishes each year.