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Eagleton community builds playset for child diagnosed with cancer

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EAGLETON (WQOW) - A group of 30 family members, friends and volunteers came to Matt and Kelsie Dommer's home in Eagleton to build a playset in the backyard.

"The community that has come out to build Ramsey a brand new playset means so much to us, and we are so grateful and so thankful," said Matt Dommer.

At just five days old, Matt and Kelsie's daughter Ramsey was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a type of liver cancer.

"There we were, at 9:00 at night, watching our daughter get hauled away in an ambulance," Dommer said. "We spent 50 days at the NICU at Children's [Hospital] in Minneapolis, and then up to the seventh floor, the cancer floor."

Eric Newman is the founder and chief play officer of Roc Solid Foundation, a non-profit that builds playsets for families that have a child with cancer. He is also a hepatoblastoma survivor.

"In the cancer journey, there are mountain tops, and then there are valleys," Newman said. "If they are in that valley, we hope in our prayers the playset spikes them right back up to the mountain top and reminds them of the power of community."

According to Roc Solid Foundation, 16,000 children are diagnosed with pediatric cancer each year.

"The one thing that you do not need to teach a human to do is to play," Newman said. "Every time this family sees this playset, every time Ramsey and her brother plays on this playset, guess what they are not thinking about? Cancer. We win every single time."

"Everyone treats each other as family," said Chelsey Hanson, a volunteer. "I might not know everybody here, but they will always be a part of my family now because they were willing to step up and help."

As of today, Ramsey has been cancer-free for six months.

"This is the most wonderful early birthday present a family could ask for, a wonderful community to be a part of, and a healthy little girl," Dommer said.

Ramsey will celebrate her first birthday in a week on June 10. The Dommer family said it has been one incredible journey, and they are grateful for all of the community support.

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Evan Denton

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