OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -- While many children might ask Make-A-Wish for a trip to the beach or Walt Disney World, one Overland Park 7-year-old had something else in mind.
Liam de Buyl loves what most 7-year-olds love: gaming and YouTubing.
It’s something that a lot of parents would say drives them crazy, but Megan and Nick de Buyl say that it’s more than just a silly distraction in their family.
“He was diagnosed with epilepsy, so television and gaming was his only outlet,” his mother said. “It made him still have a sense of normalcy and being a normal kid, even when he was lying in a hospital bed or couldn’t go out and play because he’d have a drop seizure and could get hurt.”
The couple has spent much of Liam’s past few years in constant worry. At times, Liam would have 40 seizures a day. Medications weren’t working and rounds and rounds of tests didn’t offer many answers.
However, finally, doctors in Cleveland took on his case. After 12 days away from family and friends in Kansas City, they found a lesion in Liam’s brain shortly after beginning brain surgery.
That’s when Make-a-Wish stepped in. During his treatment, they told him to think of a wish.
“We spent many nights in the hospital with just a running list of ‘I could wish for this, wish for that’ and it gave us something to preoccupy his mind,” his mother explained.
His first course of action was to get his older brother, Owen, to help brainstorm.
When you tell a 7-year-old and 10-year-old that they can wish for whatever they want, the wheels really start turning.
“I heard Liam say, ‘I want to be my own YouTuber,’” his mother recalls, “and they were like, ‘Yeah, let’s be YouTube brothers!’ and they were like, ‘No, let’s be the gamer brothers!’”
So, Liam told Make-A-Wish he wanted a gaming and YouTube recording studio. It’s not your average wish, but Make-A-Wish said, “let the games begin.”
Make-A-Wish converted an empty room in the family basement into a full-blown gaming and YouTube addict’s paradise with state-of-the-art gaming chairs, new TVs, PlayStations, laptops, movie posters, video recording equipment, and customized Fortnite wall art.
Make-A-Wish even gave the family their own gaming shirts with an official logo for “Gamer Bro’s Studio,” which was designed by Liam's sister Isabelle.
It’s been a few weeks since the surprise and, to put it simply, Liam, Owen, and Isabelle spend a lot of time in the room.
The only thing better than the room is the news that Liam’s surgery worked and he’s now free of seizures.
“He had fear in him before because he could drop to the floor in a split second,” his father said. “Now he can look forward to things beyond the next hour.”
His celebration dances are one more reminder that life is a game in and of itself. Now, for the first time in a long time, the family gets to celebrate a win.