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Pella Girl Wishes to Have Hot Tub


October 17, 2014



The Verhoef family has had its share of challenges through the years. The family of seven lost their home due to a fire on their twins’ third birthday in July of 2012. Five days later, just as they were starting to really deal with the loss of their home, the twin girls Macey and Madeline were diagnosed with a progressive muscle disease. Life has not been the same since then.

“We knew they were going to be diagnosed with something like this, just because of how sick they had been before the diagnosis. It was the worst week of my life,” shared Tena Verhoef.  “We had just been deciding whether or not to rebuild or move. The diagnosis really gave us the opportunity to rebuild in a way that makes the house accessible for Macey and Madelyn.”

Work began on reconstruction and the family celebrated one year in the new house on October 5th. But things were not quite right. One of Macey’s favorite memories of the old house was spending time in their hot tub. That’s where Make-A-Wish® Iowa stepped in.

“Macey’s and Madelyn’s conditions made them eligible for a wish through our program,” said Jamie Rasko, Communications Manager with Make-A-Wish Iowa.  “Madelyn wished to go to Walt Disney World® Resort next year, but Macey’s wish was to have her hot tub back.”

The organization went to work to make both wishes happen. Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. A wish is granted nearly every other day in Iowa and the organization has granted nearly 3,000 wishes in the state since it began in 1987.

For Macey’s wish, Make-A-Wish teamed up with Pfeffer Precast of Algona, Iowa. Their contribution is part of the national sponsorship, created by Marquis to benefit Make-A-Wish chapters across the country. As the preferred provider for Make-A-Wish hot tub wishes, Marquis has helped grant more than 500 life-changing wishes since 2000.

“Macey is so excited about getting the hot tub back. One of her first questions when we got into our new house was about the hot tub. It will be fun for all of us, but it will also provide some therapeutic benefit to the girls. The warm water will help with some of the pain and cramping she deals with, especially in the winter,” said Verhoef.

Macey had some friends come out to help with the final touches of the hot tub installation. The Pella Fire Department – the same people who were out battling the fire that destroyed their home – finished things off by filling the hot tub with water for the Verhoef family to enjoy.

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About Make-A-Wish® Iowa

Make-A-Wish® Iowa grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The Foundation has granted wishes to more than 2,900 children with life-threatening medical conditions since 1987 and currently grants a wish every other day in Iowa.  To find out more, visit  Share the Power of a Wish®.



Press Contact

Casady Christiansen
Communications and Marketing Manager
3009 100th Street
Urbandale, IA  50322-3220

Phone : (515) 334-2636
Fax : (515) 334-2638

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Make-A-Wish® Iowa
3009 100th Street
Urbandale, IA 50322-3220
(515) 334-2636
Toll Free Iowa Only (800) 797-9474