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Leukemia Keeps Woodland Boy from Playground, So Make-A-Wish Built Him His Own

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WOODLAND -- Raphael Cordova got the surprise of his life Tuesday.

He is 5 years old and in the battle of his life, fighting Leukemia. His immune system is so overwhelmed that he can't play on playgrounds with other kids, so Make-A-Wish stepped in to build him a playground of his very own right in his back yard.

"He's stronger than us, way stronger than us. There were days where I would explain something to him and he'd be like, 'It's OK mom, I got this. I'm brave,'" Raphael's mother Berenice said. "And that gave me all the strength I need."

Raphael told FOX40 he's pretty sure the playground just grew in his back yard.

Volunteers from Make-A-Wish and Home Depot were at his Woodland home all day, setting everything up for when Raphael got home.

So far, Raphael's favorite part is the slide. For others, it's realizing a young boy's wish and guaranteeing a good day for a family when good days can be hard to come by.

"We've actually done some research at Make-A-Wish and it can sometimes turn a child's health around because we do provide that help," Make-A-Wish spokesperson Michele Flynn said.

If it is healthy to be happy, then this Woodland backyard Tuesday is the best therapy, for everyone who was there.