Take a look below at the inspiring stories of the Featured Dreamers we are privileged to work with!
Meet Haley, our newest Featured Dreamer. Haley, and 11-year-old girl from Georgetown, South Carolina, was diagnosed with Progressive Familial Intrahepatic Cholestasis Type 3. This condition requires a liver transplant. She was also recently diagnosed with pulmonary arteriovenous malfunction, which required her to be put on oxygen. Haley's brother and sister both have had liver transplants; now, it is Haley’s turn. Thankfully, Haley’s family received good news on Easter. Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) informed Haley and her family that they were ready for her transplant. She received her new liver on March 28, 2016. Following the transplant, Haley has been in the operating room multiple times due to issues along the way to recovery. Haley was just discharged from the hospital April 27, 2016, which is great news! She is required to stay in Charleston up to 4 months to be near to MUSC in case any emergencies arise.
Haley absolutely deserves something to look forward to during her long road to recovery, and Designing Dreams can’t wait to put a smile on her face. Haley’s favorite colors are pink and lime green, and she has a passion for dancing and singing. Haley has been quite the strong young lady throughout her journey. We are excited to give Haley a few of her favorite things to consume her time and provide normalcy during her extended stay away from home. Welcome to the Dream Team, Haley!
Jack and Sanibel
Meet our Featured Dreamers: Jack and Sanibel!
The Randolph kids - Jack (11 years old) and his sister Sanibel (14 years old) are tremendously inspiring fighters from Rogers, MN. The Randolph family is indeed composed of superheroes: Jack, a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy and autism, works tirelessly to make progress, Sanibel and their mother are currently fighting cancer and their brother Aric has been an incredible support.
Jack has Cerebral Palsy, Autism, sensory modifications, and speech delays. When Jack was born, doctors told him that he would never walk, talk, or throw a ball; today he can do all three. He works very hard yet physical tasks do not come easy to him, but he never gives up. Jack currently lives in a blue bedroom, which happens to be his favorite color. His favorite thing to do is watch his fish and frogs in their aquarium. Jack loves Legos, playing on his iPad, going out to eat, watching Nemo and Star Wars, and being with animals.
Sanibel was diagnosed with cancer in August 2015. Her next round of treatment begins early April. It is aggressive form of cancer, and as a result she is only able to attend school part time. She has shown incredible strength throughout her brave journey. Sanibel lives in a black bedroom with sparkles and teal colors. She loves to talk on the phone, put makeup on, hang out with friends, shop, watch Divergent and the Hunger Games, and make jewelry. Jack and Sanibel have the same favorite candies: nerds, airheads, pop rocks, and rock candy.
Sanibel and Jack continue to have a tough road ahead, but their positivity is inspirational. Their brother Aric, who is Jack’s twin, hates to see his siblings going through difficult times. Aric is constantly there encouraging them every step of the way. The Randolph family deserves a little positivity in their lives, and Designing Dreams is thrilled to feature them for their strength!
Show support for the Randolph family by keeping up with their stories. Follow ‘Team Sanibel’ on FB. Designing Dreams hopes that all members of the Randolph family stay happy, healthy, and keep fighting! #TeamRandolph
Meet Derek - our newest Featured Dreamer!
Derek loves basketball, football cards, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, beef jerky, and Butterfingers. He was diagnosed with epilepsy in February 2014. After trying over 20 different seizure medications over the next year with no success, Derek and his family found an answer at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in March 2015. Derek's neurologist decided brain surgery was the best option for treatment. He has recently undergone two brain surgeries, so we wanted to give him something to show we are #DerekStrong!
Follow Derek's journey at his CaringBridge below:
Welcome to the Designing Dreams team Derek, we are rooting for you!
We are excited to introduce you to our January Featured Dreamer, Lauren! Lauren is an 11-year-old girl diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia, a disease of the bone marrow, which leads to insufficient red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets made for the body. Currently, Lauren is closely monitored with blood draws each week to ensure her platelet count does not drop to a life threatening level. Once her platelets do drop to that level, she must undergo a bone marrow transplant. At this time she has begun taking an experimental drug with the hopes of keeping her platelet count up.
Due to Lauren’s low platelet count, she has a high risk of excessive bleeding if any injury were to occur. This limits her time playing and being involved in an active lifestyle. However, this does not stop Lauren from staying positive and enjoying many other various activities she loves. Lauren is a friendly, funny little girl who enjoys dancing, singing, playing piano, and completing crafts such as sewing, crocheting, and making jewelry. She loves to play with American Girl dolls along with reading the American Girl doll books. Her favorite colors are red, purple and pink. Lauren is such a sweet, sensitive little girl, and we can’t wait to give her a gift to show her just how inspiring she is! Welcome to the dream team Lauren!
Rion, a 10-year-old girl, was diagnosed January 2013 with Overlap Syndrome. She has markers in three additional autoimmune disorders: Scleroderma, Dermatomyositis and Lupus. Her conditions cause calcinosis, which is currently in her knees, and Reynaud's Syndrome. The calcium deposits in her knees pop open and drain, putting her at risk for infection for which she has been hospitalized several times for IV antibiotics. She has to undergo a lot of tests to make sure that her condition isn't spreading to her vital organs. Thankfully, it has been under control thus far. She tried intravenous immunoglobulin treatment for 10 months at Children's Hospital in Milwaukee. Currently, she is taking a break from it because of no changes in her condition thus far.
With the many treatments and hospital visits it has been a tough year for their entire family. They learned valuable lessons in patience and how important it is to remain positive - to take things one day at a time.
Although Rion’s condition has taken time away from her schedule, she still finds a way to stay involved in her favorite things. She is very much a girly girl. When it comes to fashion, she always comes up with the cutest creations. Her dream job is to become an actress or fashion designer. Crafting is her favorite thing to do in her free time, especially when it comes to making bracelets or ceramics. She is involved in 4-H, and loves horseback riding. Despite the condition she is facing, Rion remains a very strong, outgoing little girl.