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Indianapolis teen's wish granted thanks to community effort

Levi Kelley has his own soccer field in his backyard, thanks to Make-A-Wish, Indy Eleven and a number of generous members of the community.

INDIANAPOLIS — Wednesday afternoon was not your typical afternoon for 15-year-old Levi Kelley.

He got a knock at the door from Indy Eleven mascot, Zeke, and was escorted around his house and into his backyard, where he was met by dozens of people from the Indy Eleven and Make-A-Wish.

They were all there to unveil his very own, brand new soccer field. 

“First of all, it’s amazing,” Kelley said. “I didn’t expect it to look like this. It’s almost identical to when I go play soccer on my fields.”

Levi was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis shortly after birth and it’s a disorder he now lives with every day. But he doesn’t let it stop him. Five years ago, Levi picked up a soccer ball for the first time - and he was hooked. 

Credit: WTHR
Levi Kelley was all smiles after he saw his own backyard soccer field.

“As soon as I started playing, I instantly fell in love with it. It’s the best sport,” he said.

So when it came time for Levi to receive a wish courtesy of Make-A-Wish, he knew exactly what he wanted. He wanted a soccer field built in his backyard. With the help of Russell Creations out of Noblesville and Indysod.com, Levi’s wish was granted on Wednesday. They teamed up to reshape the Kelley’s backyard into a flat space for soccer. 

“This is my first soccer field I’ve ever built,” said Jonn Russell of Russell Creations. “It was pretty cool. We appreciate the business it was a fun project.”

Levi did the honors of cutting the ribbon and got right to work, going one-on-one with Indy Eleven defender Karl Ouimette. 

“He just kicked it as hard as he could,” Ouimette laughed, “a real bomb.” 

Credit: WTHR
Levi took a turn in goal on his new field.

Levi hopes to eventually make the soccer team at Lawrence North High School and now he has his own personal pitch to practice.

A young man’s ultimate wish granted thanks to Make-A-Wish and the Indianapolis community.