Camping World, Make A Wish grant child’s dream

May 18—It was while Brody Hammack was undergoing daily treatments at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital that he and his parents stayed in his grandfather’s RV.

That was when the now 5-year-old Laurel native fell in love with the idea of camping — wanting his own camper to spend free time with his parents and family.

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Hammack was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when he was just 2 years old — prompting the intensive treatment regime that has marked the lives of his family for nearly 3 years.

“The doctors thought it was viral at first,” explained his mother, Lori. “They did some blood work and discovered he had low hemoglobin count. We had to go the children’s hospital in Cincinnati and stay 10 days and stay in the area for 8 weeks. My father-in-law had an RV and we stayed in it. Brody thought that was great and said he wanted one!”

It was during this time that Brody’s name was submitted to the Make A Wish Foundation for the granting of his wish — a camper for family time and a resource of enjoyment for the young child.

His wish came true on Saturday morning when the Make A Wish Foundation representatives, through a partnership with Camping World, arrived at the London location to grant Brody’s wish.

“We’ve been working on his wish for a couple of months,” said Faith Hacker, Senior Advancement Officer with the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana branch that is headquartered in Lexington. “We have a partnership with Camping World so when they bought this dealership in February, we began working with them to grant the wish.”

Terry Spurlock, general manager for Camping World of London, said the Dutchman Coleman camper had a value between $18,000 to $19,000, geared to suit the needs of the Hammack family.

The floor plan of that model offers a seating area just inside the entrance door, with a 2-burner stove top, a microwave, refrigerator and freezer on one side, with a table with bench seating on the other. The table, Spurlock said, can be adjusted to make extra sleeping space, while the rear section of the camper hosts a small bathroom with shower and two bunk beds. An added feature to the camper is an electric fireplace that displays flames even when not engaged.

“The fireplace is an attraction but also serves as another source of heat when needed,” Spurlock said. “For instance, if you run out of propane, you can hook up the fireplace and have electric heat.”

Spurlock said the partnership between Make A Wish Foundation and Camping World was a win-win for both organizations.

“We try to help make dreams come true, whether it’s a child with an illness or a family needing a camper to enjoy their time together,” he explained. “When we found out about Brody, we found a model that would suit his family.”

In addition to the camper, Spurlock said he purchased some toys for Brody — a complete set of Paw Patrol vehicles and characters as well as a fire station. Camping World also added a grill for the family to use on their next outing.

With Brody now in remission, his parents, Jason and Lori Hammack, are planning some camping excursions in the near future.

“We’re planning to go camping at Laurel Lake in September, and probably to Levi Jackson Park this summer,” she said. “We’re also planning to go to Pigeon Forge later on. I’m so grateful to Make A Wish and Camping World for helping Brody’s wish come true.”

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