Students from La Crosse Design Institute create space for elementary school student

A La Crosse child with a life threatening illness receives a surprise from area middle school students.

Seventh graders from the La Crosse Design Institute designed and built a new hang-out space for 8-year-old Tanner Novak.

Tanner was born with a heart condition which has required seven open-heart surgeries.

His condition limits his physical activity, but the LDI middle school students used lessons learned in the classroom to create a space for Tanner to safely spend time with his friends.

Tanner’s mom, who is a teacher in the La Crosse School District, says this gift is priceless.

“Working with Middle Schoolers, I know that they’re capable of a lot, but I was shocked when I came down to see what they had been able to accomplish and then hearing what Doctor McHugh talk about all of the different donations that they got and things that they were able to pull through, it was amazing,” said Kim Novak, Tanner Novak’s mom.

The LDI students chose Tanner as the recipient of their project with the help of the Children’s Miracle Network.

They spent two months gathering donations from area businesses, interviewing the family about their needs and creating the design.

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