ST. CHARLES PARISH (WGNO) – Crews have begun building what will become the first all-inclusive park in St. Charles Parish, welcoming children and adults with disabilities.
The last time two-year-old Benjamin was at the park he was watching on the sidelines as his sisters played. Fast forward to today, and what was once the East Bank Bridge Park in Destrehan is in transition.
“It’s really hitting home now that you can see the changes happening,” says Hillary Sirmon.
Hillary Sirmon’s life changed unexpectedly two years ago. Her son, Benjamin, was diagnosed with Centronuclear Myopathy, a rare genetic condition that has no cure. Benjamin lives on life support waiting for his chance to play, but now he won’t have to wait long. His mother’s dream “Miracles to Milestones” is becoming a reality. It’s becoming the first all-inclusive park in St. Charles Parish; a place where all can play.
“All kids, adults, even you can play! Hillary can play. Ben can play,” exclaims Duane Foret, Director of Parks and recreation for St. Charles Parish.
“In life with having Benjamin and any type of a child with any type of a challenge you hit obstacles every day, and for this to be one obstacle that we’ve knocked down has just been wonderful,” says Sirmon.
With the United Way standing behind her, the community donated nearly $250,000, and the parish donated the land. Even her husband agrees Hillary is the super mom in charge.
“I don’t want my son to be that one kid left out, and so I’ve just kind of done everything she’s told me to do,” says Hillary’s husband K.C. Sirmon.
Miracles to Milestones is one mother’s dream the parish hopes will help other parents facing similar hurdles. It’s a playground that’s allowed two-year-old Benjamin to make a difference.
“He’s definitely changed our lives and changed our community and we all feel like we’re better people because of him and we hope that he leaves a lasting impression,” says Hillary Sirmon.
The Miracles to Milestones Playground at east Bank Bridge Park in Destrehan will be under construction for the next three weeks. Parish officials say they hope to open it to the public in early July.
To read more about Hillary Sirmon’s journey and the park click here.