Celebrity landscaper Ahmed Hassan to make over back yard for girl with neuroblastoma

Ahmed Hassan, celebrity landscaper, and Duane Draughon of Chicago’s VizX Design Studios will work their magic creating a safe play space for a very special little girl in Miami Springs April 10-12.

Two-year-old Daniella Collazo has stage III neuroblastoma. She wants a place to play in times when she’s healthy enough — A wish that “seems” simple. For immunocompromised children, however, dirt and grass are potentially harmful, as they harbor germs that could tax her already-stressed system. Decking, likewise, should be washable, and be of a material that can withstand deep cleaning. Ground covering should be soft because kids do fall, and an injury for a child with low platelets due to treatments can be life threatening.

With the help of an army of volunteers, generous supporters and corporate gifts and grants, Ahmed’s vision of a safe play space for Daniella and her big brother Daniel will become a reality. The Miami Springs home they share with parents Dania and Jose Collazo will be a hive of activity as medically approved equipment, safe surface products, and a whole lot of fun features are installed.

Donations are still needed, though, to keep this wish on track.

Supporters can donate to #DaniellasWish through the page on the Thoughtful.org website. Volunteers can register here. Corporate sponsors are likewise welcome to participate. Food and donations, lodging, materials, and more are still in demand.

Daniella’s Wish will come true because of Mystic Force Foundation, an organization born through the heartache of a family.

In September 2007, Dr. Steven and Silvia Vanni received some of the worst news parents can hear: their son


Salvatore had an aggressive form of childhood cancer: stage IV neuroblastoma. The young family endured close to four years of tests and treatments, procedures and pain. Still, despite 12 surgeries and trying any and all treatments available, their son succumbed to his illness just shy of his 8th birthday.

As a form of self-healing, the Vannis poured their grief into a mission of hope. Their latest wish-granting project is “Daniella’s Wish.”