Town ‘takes reins’ to make girl’s wish come true

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AUMSVILLE, Ore. (KOIN) — A small town community came together in a big way to make one little girl’s wish come true.

Penelope has had a rough start to life. She’s just 3-years -ld, but has already been hospitalized more than 30 times and had more than 50 blood transfusions to treat a rare blood disorder. 

That’s why Make-a-Wish Oregon wanted to make her dream come true. 

“Penelope and her family have been through so much,” Make-a-Wish Oregon spokesperson Kaitlyn Bolduc said. “Most of their day-to-day life was in the hospital as Penelope was fighting a critical illness. She’s better now and she can go outside. Before, she wasn’t even allowed to be around things like hay because of bacteria and her weakened immune system so this is a big deal.”

Being around hay is important because Penelope’s wish was to have a pony. 

“Penelope has loved horses since she could talk,” her mom, Jessica Bulter, said. “I think every little girl talks about horses a lot.” 

Penelope loves the movie, “Brave” and Merida has a horse, so she wanted one, too. After Penelope got a bone marrow transplant recently, that wish was closer than ever to coming true. 

“For her to be healthy and actually have this be an option for her is amazing and a miracle in itself,” Butler said. 

Make-a-Wish Oregon and the community of Aumsville and Stayton came together to make 3-year-old Penelope’s wish of having a horse come true. (KOIN) 

When the word got out that Make-a-Wish was trying to make this happen for Penelope, the community of Aumsville and Stayton joined the project, volunteering time and resources to getting the Butler’s property ready for a horse.

A family friend donated the horse, Cappy, and local suppliers donated a saddle, food, tack, lessons and more. 

Brandon from Smith Field and Fence was a key part of building a fence around the barn. Stayton High School football players dug holes, hauled posts and made signs for the corral. Even members of the Aumsville police and fire departments joined the action.

“Truly it was incredible to see the impact of this wish. How far reaching it was,” Bolduc said. “It’s just and example of the community at its finest, the best of humanity. It’s just so powerful and it’s so great to see the power of a wish come true and the power of what a small town can do. People helping people, neighbors helping neighbors — making a little girl’s wish come true.”

Photos: Penelope’s wish comes true 

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