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4-year-old boy with severe heart condition receives camper in Alcoa through Make-A-Wish

A 4-year-old boy with a severe heart condition wanted a camper so he could spend time with his grandparents on camping trips. On Tuesday, he got one.

ALCOA, Tenn. — Camping trips are usually where good times are found. Sitting by a fire with family nearby and nothing but the great outdoors around them, campers can tend to return home with new and heartwarming memories.

A 4-year-old Alcoa boy's family will have a chance to make some new memories of their own after receiving a camper from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He has hypoplastic left heart syndrome and as a result, he has gone through several surgeries to ensure his heart functions.

His parents reached out to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and he ended up asking for a way to go camping with his grandparents. They said they have been camping for many years and he loves to tag along with them.

With a camper, they said he can safely venture outdoors with his family and enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains, as well as anywhere else the camper can go. He also received games to play while camping.

"This way, we can have several trips and not just one," said Samantha Mellama, the boy's mother. "We can everlasting memories together as a family. The grandparents also have campers so they can join us on these adventures, and i's going to be wonderful."

Make-A-Wish of East Tennessee said there are more than 200 children in the area are waiting for their wishes to be granted. Anyone who wants to help make their dreams come true can make a donation on the Make-A-Wish website.

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