7yr Old Antonio's "Make a Wish" Starting to Take Shape - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

7yr Old Antonio's "Make a Wish" Starting to Take Shape

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(KCEN) – His wish is starting to take shape, and it’s a dream that is bigger and better than he could have ever imagined. After months of anxiously waiting, seven-year-old Antonio Laguna will get his “Make a Wish” in just a few short weeks.

“He is going to flip,” his dad Frank said. “They’ve gone over the top,” his mom Candace added.

But if you get the chance to meet Antonio – you’d know why they’re going overboard. “He wanted to grow fruits and vegetables to give back to the community, and my heart just sank at that moment,” Jessica Robertson with Backbone Valley Nursery said. “He could have wished for anything, but he wanted a greenhouse and an orchard, and that just touched me so much that I had to be involved with this project.”

Antonio has an extremely rare and fatal condition called ROHHAD. Basically his body will sometimes forget to tell itself to do normal functions, like breathing or to stop eating. Rapid onset obesity is one of the symptoms. So, early on Antonio became obsessed with eating healthy and growing his own food.

Now he will get that chance with a custom built 25X20 greenhouse, a dozen fruit trees, and an elevated picking garden where he can plant his vegetables. All of this made possible by Make a Wish, and the team work from Backbone Valley Nursery and Ben Atkinson Home builders.

“This has not been easy,” Jessica said. “Initially when you plant an orchard the trees are about as big as a finger and take three to four years for production. We needed something sooner than that, but it’s almost impossible to find mature fruit trees in the nursery trade.”

But they made it happen, and many of the trees were privately funded by donors.

The next challenge: having an orchard and greenhouse is like having a second job. How were the Lagunas supposed to take care of Antonio, their other children, go out of town for doctors … all while talking on this huge responsibility?

The nursery installed a fully automated irrigation system making the entire project self sufficient. “That way they can spend their efforts on Antonio and not with babysitting the greenhouse or orchard,” Jessica said.

And they’re leaving it unfinished. That’s right, when the big unveiling happens – the project will only be partially complete, with areas where he can do some planting of his own.

“Antonio loves to plant things, to take something from a seed to plant it and watch it grow,” Jessica said. “We really wanted him to be able to watch his garden grow.”

It’s a dream that is coming together by the hands of so many who have spent countless hours of sweat and love pouring into his wish. “Seeing how appreciative they are, and how much it means to Antonio – that’s pretty much all we need,” Ben Atkinson said. “You can just see people putting in their heart and soul.”

As for Candace and Frank, they can’t wait for Antonio to return home from his grandparents to see his dream become a reality.

“It’s him. It’s his wish living,” Candace said. “Kids wish big, they dream big, and they think really big. We can walk into his dream.”

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