When Liam was diagnosed with Stage IV High Risk Neuroblastoma cancer, he was obsessed with firefighting. His cancer treatments made his immunity to illnesses completely non-existent, so as his parents we decided all we could do was to make the most of it. After all, when life hands you lemons, make creative juices!

Given Liam’s diagnosis, he was required to do countless scans over the course of the next three to five years. Most three-year-olds are given anaesthetics whenever they need a CT or MIBG scan but it added another level of complexity and risk. We made a deal with Liam… If he could stay still for all of his scans, he could have anything in the world he wanted… A brave promise that we intended to keep, no matter what he wished for.

So what did my little firefighter/cancer warrior wish for? A fire pole!!!

Since Liam is the most determined child I have ever met, he naturally stayed still for over an hour — An unbelievable feat for a three-year-old with ants in his pants. As so began our internet search to source a fire pole for our basement.

Since our basement had a drop ceiling, sadly (for my husband and to the amusement of our neighbours) we couldn’t use a stripper pole.

We ended up ordering this from Wayfair and cutting it to fit the shorter ceiling heights. We also didn’t want to drill a hole into the basement floor to fasten it so we built a wooden clamp and covered it with an old fire hose that was donated by one of Liam’s many “fans”.

We painted the room with Benjamin Moore’s Silver Fox 2108-50, because we didn’t have budget to replace the old carpet in the basement and the griege colour complemented it nicely.


We had an old Ikea Kura bed from our previous home that was in pieces in the garage. I remembered some of the Ikea hacks that had inspired me previously so I used that as the basis of my inspiration!

Let us know what you think in the comments section!

While I’d love to take credit for this creative basement playroom idea, my little cancer warrior gets all the credit. It was worth it. He got to play all day while the other kids were at school, the fire pole kept his arms and muscles strong during his incredibly harsh treatments and well, we had One happy hero-in-training!

I’m happy (and blessed) to say that Liam has been in remission since January 2016! If you would like to support us in our continued battle against Neuroblastoma, we raise money for cancer research at SickKids Hospital. Visit LiamsBrigade.com/donate to help out.