Tags: mia vasquez | dream park | cerebral palsy

Mia Vasquez's Dream Park Becoming Reality for Girl With Cerebral Palsy

A playground is being built in Hayward, California, based on a sketch by Mia Vasquez's father, who wanted to make his daughter's dream come true. (YouTube/KPIX CBS SF Bay Area)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 October 2018 11:57 AM

Mia Vasquez loves Tennyson Park in Hayward, California, but, because she has cerebral palsy, she cannot play like other kids her age, which is why the city is building a "dream park" for the 10-year-old, with construction set to begin in November.

"We came up with the idea of creating a park that was not only accessible, but ultra-accessible and have it be in our neighborhood," her dad Daniel Vasquez told KPIX 5.

He said it would serve as her legacy and as a way for her to be remembered "long after she's gone."

Doctors do not know how much longer Mia Vasquez has. They did not expect her to live longer than a year, but she far exceeded their expectations.

She was born at 33 weeks, weighing only 2 pounds, 6 ounces, according to the East Bay Times.

She spent 100 days in neonatal intensive care and left the hospital weighing a mere 5 pounds.

"Raising a child with special health care needs is very isolating; it literally becomes your little family unit, besides dealing with the complexities of appointments and their health care issues," said Mia Vasquez's mother Emelyn Lacayo.

She said a park would be ideal for families in similar situations.

Daniel Vasquez initially sketched out the design of a new park for his daughter in 2016, on a napkin.

Tennyson Park is known for its recreational facilities, which includes a fun play area for children, according to its website.

Daniel Vasquez wanted to include all the parts of the park that his daughter loved in his design, which he called "Mia's Dream Come True."

According to KPIX, the proposed park will feature a firehouse with a real fire engine that has been made wheelchair friendly, as well as an airport area with swings hanging from the wings of a full-sized plane.

There are even plans to include a giant piano that includes whales with interactive spouts and a wheelchair accessible fishing boat.

It may seem like a grand plan, but officials have latched onto the concept.

"We have taken this sketch on a napkin, and with each set of plans the concept grew as did the budgetary end of things," said Pam Russo, the director of the Hayward Area Recreation District, according to KPIX.

Donations have been flooding in since word got out about the park, with $2.5 million already raised, and just $1 million more needed to complete the entire park.

Mayor Barbara Halliday said the park could develop the community in the area.

"I think when people get used to really coming back and using this park again for what it's intended to be used for, we're just going to see a renaissance of the whole community," she told KPIX.

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Mia Vasquez's dream park is becoming a reality in Hayward, California, where the community has gotten behind plans sketched out by the father of the 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy.
mia vasquez, dream park, cerebral palsy
Wednesday, 24 October 2018 11:57 AM
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