RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) - A Rio Rancho girl has spent much of her short life fighting to stay alive. While she's had a tough go, a group of volunteers and a tree house are helping her keep her spirits up.
By the sound of her giggles, Hannah Hurd seems like your typical 12-year-old, but there's more to her story.
"The night before we went to the hospital, I had a really big stomach ache, and I was throwing up, and I slept on a towel in the middle of my floor," she said.
That stomach ache was just the start of a diagnosis, more severe than Hannah and her family could have ever expected.
"The ER doctor informed me that she had a brain tumor in the middle of her brain," said Farrah Hurd, her mother.
However, through all of that, her condition isn't bringing her down. Now, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, she has her own place to escape to -- her very own tree house.
"Make-A-Wish called us and asked if we would be interested in building a play house, of course for us, of course we'd love to," said Doug Katy of the Homeowners Association of Central New Mexico.
One thousand hours of labor later, Hannah's dream finally came true. The crew spent the last three weeks putting the finishing touches on the tree house. They worked closely with her to make sure it had everything she wanted.
"I chose this design by watching Treehouse Masters, and I just kept putting ideas that I liked onto my design," she said.
Even though Hannah's tumor isn't completely gone, her mom said the family has learned an important lesson through this difficult journey.
"Our family lives day by day and we just try to make the best of everyday," said Farrah Hurd.
Hannah has since recovered from the initial brain surgery to remove the tumor. Her mother said they get a check up every four to six months to make sure the tumor isn't getting any bigger.
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