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Local cancer survivor uses Make-A-Wish gift to benefit his community

Grant Loven battled leukemia and is dreaming big to build the playground of his dreams for other children to enjoy, on Communities that KARE.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — "A lot of fun, very creative, loves to crazy dance."

It sounds about right for a kid preparing for kindergarten next fall.

But Grant Loven's come a long way in his short life.

"It's amazing how resilient these kids are," said Grant's dad, Jay Loven. "Just to see him tolerate and bounce back the way he has is amazing."  

Diagnosed with Leukemia at 27 months old, Grant endured 27 months of treatment and complications.

All the while, "Grant wanted to be at the park. I mean, since he was little. So I have as many pictures of him having treatment as I do going to the park," said Allison Loven, Grant's mom.

"We have all of these cute little pictures of Grant with his bald head climbing through things."

So when Make-A-Wish approached the family, instead of asking for a trip to the "happiest place on earth," Grant decided to share his happy place.

"He's passing his wish for a playground to Bloomington Lutheran that needed a new playground anyway," explained Jay.

That's right; a new playground for his new school, Bloomington Living Hope Lutheran School.

"I think for Grant to be able to share his love and gratitude for outdoor play, it's special for Grant, it's special for his siblings, and such a blessing for our school," explained Angela Dingels, a mom with two students at Bloomington Lutheran. She is helping to get construction off the ground.

 Even with Make-A-Wish's contribution, there's still a hefty price tag.

"With playground costs ranging upwards of $250,000 for a space like ours, we're continuing to fundraise to help make Grant's wish come true," said Dingels.

Grant and his family, along with volunteers, are working with local businesses donating material and time to the project.

"Grant himself has built out of Duplo's, his dream playground. He has all of these ideas," said Allison. He also has big dreams to make a difference. 

"He's going to meet a lot of new friends here, and he's excited to share his wish with all of his new friends," said Jay.

The hope is to have the playground installed this summer.

In response to Grant's wish to give back, Bloomington Lutheran received donations surpassing $135,000, but there is still a way to go. 

If you'd like to contribute, contact the Bloomington Living Hope Lutheran School, a 501(3)(c) non-profit. 

You can also make a contribution to Grant's GoFundMe page.

GoFundMe Link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/grants-playground-wish

Grant's Caring Bridge Site: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/grantloven/journal

The Loven family and volunteers would also like to thank the following businesses for their contributions to the playground:

AC Carlson Appliances, Adam Theilen Foundation, Andrea & CO Interior Design, ChicFilA, Conwed Plastics, Design Tech Consulting, Edge Hair Studio, Ero-Guard Erosion Control Products, Farm Bureau Renville County, Foss Swim, Geritom Medical, Gina B Designs, Grace Upon Grace Mooty Family Foundation, Hoglund Bussing, Holiday Stationstores, John W. Mooty Foundation, Johnson Trucking, Jostens, Landscape & Water Creations, Lifetime Foundation, Livea, Luther Automotive Foundation, Ramy Turf Products, Park Dental, Premier Banks, RF Moeller Jewelers, Scheels, Scoops, Star Choice Credit Union, StateFarm - Jason Emerson Insurance Agency, Strategic Financial Concepts, Tom Barnard Podcast, Walser Automotive Foundation, Walser Buick GMC, Walser Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Walser Toyota, West Side Perk, WSB Engineering, Zeke’s Place.

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