When Jesse Stolle was born, his odds of living past infancy were 50/50.
Nicolette Schleisman explains how a charity and some Topeka contractors helped the now 11-year-old Topkea boy get his dream come true.
11-years-ago, Jesse Stolle was born 16 weeks early, weighing less than two pounds.
“At one month, this ring went over his foot and up to his thigh,” said Kim Stolle.
His diaper, smaller than an iPhone, was too big on him. Jesse struggles with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, autism, and is vision and hearing impaired.
“He was in the NICU for 139 days. In and out of the hospital for years,” said Stolle.
Because he was born so early, his lungs were too small. He needed an oxygen tank until he was 6 years old, and his lungs are permanently damaged.
Which is how he qualified to have a dream fulfilled from the Dream Factory, a national charity that grants dreams to critically and chronically ill children from 3 to 18.
“You see the smile on those kids faces when that dream is complete, you just know that it’s the right thing to do. It just takes your breath away at how kind and generous they all are,” said Dick Smith, a Dream Factory volunteer.
Jesse and his mother Kim Stolle, an account manager for Kansas First News. Needed a safe place at home where Jesse could have fun with his trains and relax after a stressful day. So they asked a sensory room.
“It’s very rewarding when a project like this comes together,” said Rick Hudkins, with PDQ Construction, one of the contractors who worked on Jesse’s room.
The Dream Factory partnered with local Topeka contractors to make the room for Jesse. They started in November and finished the whole project in February. The highlight, a “sky chair” and of course, Jesse’s trains.
“He came down here and seen it and drug out his trains and he was very happy,” said Hudkins.
Everyone who worked on the project for Jesse and Kim say to see Jesse relaxed in his room makes it all worth it.
“It is literally a dream come true,” said Stolle.
The Topeka Chamber of Commerce and the Topeka Professional Home Re-modelers partnered to donate $15,000 in labor and materials to build the room in Jesse’s basement.
Ten local companies helped build and decorate his little piece of the world. The companies included: PDQ Construction, Winston Brown Construction, Passow Remodeling, Kern’s Construction, McCray Lumber, Pro Build Lumber, CWC Elect., Debacker’s Inc., Carpet One, Jan Davis Interiors, Black Gold, Carlson Plumbing, Lowe’s, and Best Buy.