EAGLETON (WQOW) – A group of 30 family members, friends and volunteers came to Matt and Kelsie Dommer’s Eagleton home to build a backyard playset.
“The community that has come out to build Ramsey a brand new playset means so much to us, and we are so grateful and so grateful,” said Matt Dommer.
At just five days old, Matt and Kelsie’s daughter Ramsey was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a form of liver cancer.
“There we were, at 9:00 p.m., watching our daughter be towed away in an ambulance,” Dommer said. “We spent 50 days in the NICU at Children’s [Hospital] in Minneapolis, and then to the seventh floor, the cancer floor.”
Eric Newman is the founder and chief play officer of Roc Solid Foundation, a nonprofit that builds playsets for families with a child with cancer. He is also a survivor of hepatoblastoma.
“During the cancer journey, there are mountain peaks and then there are valleys,” Newman said. “When they’re in that valley, we hope the playset will bring them back to the mountaintop in our prayers and remind them of the power of community.”
According to Roc Solid Foundation, 16,000 children are diagnosed with childhood cancer every year.
“The only thing you don’t have to teach a human being is to play,” Newman said. “Every time this family sees this playset, every time Ramsey and her brother play on this playset, guess what they’re not thinking about? Lobster. We win every time.”
“Everyone treats each other like family,” said Chelsey Hanson, a volunteer. “I may not know everyone here, but they will always be part of my family now because they were willing to stand up and help.”
As of today, Ramsey has been cancer-free for six months.
“This is the most beautiful early birthday present a family could ask for, a great community to be a part of and a healthy little girl,” Dommer said.
Ramsey will celebrate her first birthday in a week on June 10. The Dommer family said it was an incredible journey and they are grateful for all the support from the community.