Stories of HOPE: Make-A-Wish fulfills wish for Trumbull teenager who is battling leukemia

Josh Rubinstein said he just wants to be a kid, playing in a treehouse.

Honest words from a 15-year-old who has made it through an incredibly difficult 10 months battling leukemia and undergoing a bone marrow transmission.

When Josh first got sick he brushed off the idea of getting a “wish” because he didn’t think he needed one.

When things got more serious, Make-A-Wish Connecticut asked him again. He instantly knew what that wish would be.

“I really just wanted my own space and growing up one of my fav shows was “Treehouse Masters." I just loved with the treehouse you could be one a house but also away in nature,” said Josh.

Make-A-Wish Connecticut is making Josh’s wish a reality with the help of Peter Van Geldern, a Connecticut architect and professor at the University of Bridgeport.

While he was still in the hospital recovering, Josh met and talked with Van Geldern via video chat. The two became fast friends brainstorming and planning his treehouse.

“This is the highest calling for an architect is to help create HOPE for people. Josh has vision he’s been thinking about it for a long time,” said Van Geldern.

During treatment and the long recovery, it was the treehouse that kept Josh going.

Josh’s mother, Diane, explains how just talking about the treehouse would change her son’s mood and lift his spirits.

“There were months that he couldn’t have visitors in the hospital, weeks he was too sick to get out of bed and I would sit next to him and we talked about treehouses and it would give him hope," she said.

Diane added, "It’s always brought a smile to his face and there are many days that he wouldn’t smile weeks.  But he’d smile when we talk about the treehouse and he’d say ‘I can’t wait for my treehouse'."

Josh was well enough to return home in January, and is continuing to recover there.

Van Geldern is set to break ground on the treehouse in the next couple weeks.