Bryce Cameron, 6, lobs a basket towards the hoop Sunday at his home in Lebanon while friends look on. Make-A -Wish Maine, which grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions, made Bryce’s wish come true  with his new, colorful sport court. Bryce, diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, has fun playing basketball and soccer, which are good for his condition, his family members said. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

Bryce Cameron, 6, lobs a basket towards the hoop Sunday at his home in Lebanon while friends look on. Make-A -Wish Maine, which grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions, made Bryce’s wish come true with his new, colorful sport court. Bryce, diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, has fun playing basketball and soccer, which are good for his condition, his family members said. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

LEBANON — It is hard to ignore what is happening when your back yard is being carefully torn up and you’ve got a pretty good idea that what will eventually end up there is for you.

Bryce Cameron, 6, of Lebanon enjoys  some sports-related gifts he received Sunday along with a new sports court made possible by Make-A-Wish Maine. The youngster undergoes therapy twice daily  for his cystic fibrosis — and exercise like basketball and other sports help too. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

Bryce Cameron, 6, of Lebanon enjoys some sports-related gifts he received Sunday along with a new sports court made possible by Make-A-Wish Maine. The youngster undergoes therapy twice daily for his cystic fibrosis — and exercise like basketball and other sports help too. TAMMY WELLS/Journal Tribune

But still, it wasn’t until Sunday, when the bright red and blue sports court was unveiled that Bryce Cameron got the full picture.

The sports court — a place for basketball and soccer and the sort of hockey you play with a ball, was any kid’s backyard dream.

And it was in his backyard — his, and his younger sister Nora’s. His friends and family, his school principal, and some football players he admires stopped by to watch him throw some hoops, eat pizza, and enjoy the afternoon, made possible by Make-A-Wish Maine and others who pitched in.

Bryce, 6, was born with cystic fibrosis, as was his sister, who is 4. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the lung disease is due to a defective gene which causes a thick, sticky buildup of mucus in the lungs, clogging the airways and trapping bacteria that can lead to infection.

He does well. Bryce wears a vest that administers physical therapy treatment to his chest for 2 1/2 hours a day, and his grandmother, Heidi Barker, helps daily with other aspects of his treatment.

One thing that can help is exercise. Throwing basketballs around provides lots of that.

Enter Make-A-Wish Maine, which grants wishes for children with life threatening medical conditions statewide, to the tune of about 70 a year — about one every five days. On average, the wishes cost about $7,000 each, estimated Mackenzie Perry of Make-A-Wish Maine. She said the community came forward to help.

On Sunday, Perry and others representing Make-A-Wish Maine were on hand for the festivities. 

“So many came together” for the project said Perry. Bryce’s parents, Matthew and Megan Perry and other family members pitched in to remove the trees and level the ground. Then came fill, gravel and the  concrete — all due, Make-A-Wish Maine folks say, to SNAP Sports, Hissong Ready-Mix & Aggregates, Rink Concrete, A Team Concrete, Mountain View Driving Range, Portland Limousine — Maine, and the Maine Red Claws.

As the final preparations were being made  Sunday morning, Bryce and his family were whisked away by limousine to play golf.

As Bryce was delivered back home, a cheer went up. There were presents too, like a basketball from the Maine Red Claws and some other sports-related goodies.

Bryce said ‘thank you” to everyone, and then he and his friends headed for the sports court to play.

A few minutes later, another carload of folks arrived — some football players from Noble High School, in his school district — and commenced to play some hoops.

It was a good day.

“We’re all just flabbergasted,” said Megan, his mother, of her son’s wish come true.

“It’s awesome,” said Bryce. 

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]


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