By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent
Published Jan 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm (Updated Jan 25, 2012)
Epping boy, 12, gets royal treatment at Make-A-Wish castle unveiling
EPPING — David Morasco has been fighting a tumor in his right arm for nearly five years and now he’s about to launch a new battle, but this time it’s with his buddies.
“I’d like to see my castle,” the 12-year-old boy announced with a smile as a tarp was peeled away to reveal a two-story castle in the backyard of his Epping home.
It’s a castle made of wood and stones where he’ll be able to wage wars with friends, hold Boy Scout meetings and spend some quiet time as he faces a second round of chemotherapy in his battle with desmoid fibromatosis, a rare condition that caused an aggressive tumor in his upper right arm.
Surrounded by his entire seventh-grade class from Epping Middle School, David finally got a chance to see the finished castle Wednesday afternoon after being crowned by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire and handed the gold keys to the castle.
The castle was David’s wish, but it was also the foundation’s 1,000th wish granted to a child with a life-threatening condition. The wish marked the 25-year anniversary of the first wish granted back in January 1987.
“This is just an amazing, joyous moment because it’s a celebration of not only that 1,000th wish, but all of the wishes that came before it and all the wonderful memories and partnerships we have because today is also our birthday,” said Julie Baron, CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire.
David chose a castle for his wish because he wanted something that would last.
“A trip would only last as long as you go, but a castle I’ll have forever and be able to share it with friends and family,” David said while standing inside the dimly lit “great room” where battery-operated candles sat on a large table.
David never dreamed his wish would be so spectacular.
“It’s more than I imagined it would be,” he said.
His first thought when he saw the castle was, “Oh, my gosh, this is so cool.”
To add to the atmosphere, a group of volunteers from the New Hampshire Renaissance Faire came dressed in armor and other period clothing.
David’s wish was sponsored by the New Hampshire Credit Union League, an organization that began supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation 15 years ago. During that time , it has raised $1.5 million by selling angels, calendars, candy bars and pins, and holding golf tournaments and silent auctions.
“The children and the families we’ve met over the years have inspired us and motivated us to do more,” said Michael L’Ecuyer, chairman of the board of directors for the New Hampshire Credit Union League.
Gov. John Lynch also stopped by and toured the castle with David. He was impressed and later joked about the power bestowed upon David.
“I want you to know that even though I may be governor of the state of New Hampshire, here at this castle we all report to David. David tells me that his authority is unlimited and we all do what David tells us to do,” Lynch said as laughter erupted from the crowd of nearly 200 people gathered outside the castle.
“I never said that,” David politely told the governor.
Lynch praised the Make-A-Wish Foundation and those who have supported those 1,000 wishes.
“Make-A-Wish is all about making a difference in the lives of other people. I really don’t think there’s anything more noble that we can do. … Because of what the Make-A-Wish Foundation does, other people are happier. They’re a little bit better off. Their life is more fulfilled,” said Lynch, who told David that he’d like to be invited to a sleepover at the castle sometime this summer.
David doesn’t plan to wait until summer to sleep in his castle. He said he wanted to sleep in it last night.
David’s parents, Mike and Kristin, and his younger brothers, William, 9, and Philip, 18 months, were equally awestruck by the castle, which was built based on David’s own drawings.
“This will help give him more positive energy to keep moving forward. As a parent of a child going through something rough, you want them to have that positive energy, but also maybe he can learn something about what it is to give. As he grows up, I want him to learn generosity toward others,” his mother said.
Seventh-grader Tyler Wilkins, 13, one of David’s best friends, plans to spend a lot of time at the castle.
“He’s inviting me over to a sleepover this weekend, so I’m pretty excited about that,” a wide-eyed Tyler said as the rest of the class packed the castle, many climbing up into the lookout towers to check out the crowd below.