Welcome to our gallery! Here, you can explore our transformation projects, complete with a biography, picture, and gallery of the bedroom redesign process. Click on the buttons below to view each full gallery.
Oliver is a smart, sweet 14 year-old boy from Kenosha, Wisconsin. At the age of 7, he was diagnosed with standard risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on May 3, 2011. He underwent 3.5 years of the treatment at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. His treatment was difficult, but with 90-95% success stats, there was hope. 3 months after ringing the bell, marking the end of treatment, the unexpected happened. Oliver was experiencing chronic headaches and double vision before an MRI was performed revealing accumulation of spinal fluid and swollen optic nerves. An LP revealed relapse in his spinal fluid. After following a 2 year protocol treatment plan, which included radiation to his brain/head, Oliver's second port. 2 short months later, he relapsed once again. At this point, the therapy options were limited and Oliver decided against enduring additional aggressive chemotherapy followed a bone marrow transplant. Thankfully, CAR-T was proving to have success at the time, and his mom was able to convince Oliver to give it one last fight. He qualified for a clinical trial at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, but had a 5-6 month wait. A double-lumen central line was placed and this sent Oliver into a depression. He lived with the line for more than a year, while his mom flushed it daily and changed the dressing. Certain types of the experimental chemotherapy that were used caused seizure-like side effects and irritation/inflammation after repeated doses. At one point, his oncologists were convinced he had formed a rare tumor of leukemia cells on his spine and they performed biopsies and surgery to rule it out in order to remain eligible for the clinical trial. In July of 2017, Oliver received what would be his first of three CAR-T infusions. The T cells failed to persist so he received a transfusion in November and again in January. Currently, Oliver's blood is tested monthly and he receives IVIG to compensate for low IgG levels.
Throughout this journey, Oliver has learned that there are things in life that are out of your control. It's a priceless gift he learned at the age of 7 and again at 10 and 12 with relapses. His mother states, “I learned to grieve for the first time, which has proven to be a lifesaver in all areas of my life again and again. We learned how to live life while holding hands with death at the same time. We learned to make the most of what we have - each day, week, month. We learned to hold any plans and expectations loosely, and to be immensely thankful when the future became the present. We learned to sacrifice for one another and forgive reality for disappointing us. Last, but not least, there are a bajillion awesome humans on this planet fighting cancer in the lab, in the hospital bed/crib, on their knees, behind the radiation, making wishes come true, placing IVs, donating blood, dispensing medications, knitting hats, and even designing dream bedrooms!”
We were SO excited to make this dream bedroom happen. Oliver is a curious boy, and he can't help but be drawn to all things magnificent in creation. He loves history, maps and geography, and biology. Oliver is a serious birder. He loves collecting plants, rocks, feathers and eggs. He is known to paint beautiful pictures of birds when the mood strikes him, and his camera is his best friend. When he isn’t creating masterpieces or traveling to find species of birds that he’s never seen, he enjoys watching nature documentaries, reading, listening to music, and doodling maps. His favorite colors are coral and turquoise. Oliver deserved a special oasis filled with his favorite things - a place where he can explore, learn, create, dream and recover. We helped this come to life in November of 2018. #TeamOliver
Jaxson is a 5 year-old boy from Burlington, Wisconsin. In September of 2015, he was diagnosed with severe autism at 2 years old. Just two short months later, Jaxson woke up in excruciating pain in his hips and could not stand. His parents took him to the ER before being transferred immediately to a larger hospital after leukemia cells were detected. Later that day, on December 9, 2015, Jaxson was diagnosed with Pre-B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Jaxson is nonverbal, but he understands much of what his parents say to him. He is able to communicate what he wants with a tablet that speaks for him. Leukemia treatment along with autism has been very difficult for Jaxson and his family. However, Jaxson thrives on routine, so he has gotten to the point where he actually enjoys chemo days at the hospital. On those days he gets a lot of attention, eats treats and his favorite foods, and is able to watch tv all day! It hasn’t always been easy though of course. The first year was very rough on him. He did not understand what was going on with his body or why people were hurting him. Taking vital signs, getting bloodwork, going through the port accesses, and getting an NG (feeding) tube at one point were all very difficult. Currently Jaxson takes oral chemotherapy at home everyday. He also goes to the hospital monthly for IV chemotherapy. Jaxson has been incredibly strong and brave, and his family has learned so much since the start of this journey with cancer.
Jaxson’s room is currently brown, green and cream colored with owls. He still has a crib, and his parents said it’s the perfect time to make the transition to a big boy bed! Since Jaxson is nonverbal, it’s hard to know what all of his interests are. He loves to toss balls with his parents and watch videos on his iPad. He likes to watch the same movies and tv shows over and over again. The Cars movies and the two Monsters INC movies are his current favorites, and he loves mickey mouse clubhouse. He loves his sensory toys, such as squishy balls, light up toys, glow sticks, bubbles, sand, water, water beads, colored lights, and anything with wheels. He also likes toys that move on their own, super soft rugs or blankets, and noisemakers. He loves his big physical toys like, swings, ladders, rock climbing walls, slides, ect. Jaxson’s bravery throughout this journey is an absolute inspiration. We had so much fun creating a special space where he can play with his favorite toys, watch his favorite movies, and rest and recover. We are #TeamJaxson
Meet one of our next bedroom candidates, a 14 year-old boy from Green Bay, WI area named Nat! When Nat was born, he had bleeding on his brain resulting in developmental delays characteristic of autism, which includes speech delays and difficulty with social interactions. Last year he began developing chest pain that was initially thought to be viral, but it progressed and a rheumatoid workup was completed with negative results. His symptoms continued, and he began to develop abdominal pain. He was ultimately diagnosed with desmoplastic small round blue cell tumor in May of 2017. This is a rare cancer with tumors formed in the abdomen. He underwent several weeks of chemo before receiving scans which did not show improvement. Therefore, a different chemo was started at the end of August and currently has shown some progress. Initially he was hospitalized for several days for chemotherapy but is now able to receive treatment administered at home. It causes him to be very tired and have taste issues. As a result, he only eats select foods and receives tube feedings. The hope is for the tumors to shrink enough from the chemotherapy for Nat to eventually have extensive surgery in hopes of obtaining remission.
Nat’s family has learned that Nat is stronger and more resilient than any of them could have ever imagined. He was initially very scared when he was first diagnosed due to his only past experience with cancer was his Grandpa who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away a short 3 months later. It has taught Nat and his family to be more resilient overall and enjoy the small things in life a bit more. He is very proud of himself for being so brave through all the procedures.
Nat is very intelligent when it comes to dates and typically asks everyone he meets how old they are, and he then tells them what year they were born. He very much enjoys speaking to family and friends on the phone. Nat has loved road signs since he was very young and has them dispersed throughout his room. When he was younger he would always have his parents take the long way home so he could see more stop signs. He likes to visit his Grandma in Florida and likes the road signs in her retirement community. He loves to go out to eat at fast food places, specifically A&W, Little Caesars and Dairy Queen. He even has hopes of working at the Dairy Queen drive thru. He likes to hang out and look at pictures on his iPad or watch car videos. One of his favorite shows to watch is the Big Bang Theory. Nat also enjoys looking through new car brochures from the dealerships and going for rides in people’s cars. Throughout Nat’s journey, the resilience and bravery that he has demonstrated are an inspiration. We can’t wait to create him a special, comfortable oasis where he can dream and be surrounded by his road signs and filled with his favorite things. We can’t wait to hangout with Nat and his family while bringing his dream bedroom to life! We are #TeamNat
Meet our next wonderful little bedroom recipient from Minnesota! Joelle is a 7 year-old girl who was diagnosed with B-ALL leukemia on September 19th of 2017. In the middle of July her parents found a lump on her head. After a multiple doctor appointments, they determined it was a benign tumor and it could be removed. The tumor was scheduled to be removed in September. In August, she complained of pain in her back and sides, but there were no apparent abnormalities on x-rays. When she started school in September, she seemed to be more tired than usual and had bruising on her legs. When she went for a pre-operative exam to remove the mass she had a swollen lymph node on her neck and a fever. After several appointments and blood work, her pediatrician was very concerned and told Joelle’s parents to go to Children's right away. On the night of September 19th, Joelle and her family were given the devastating diagnosis of leukemia. Joelle spent the first 2 months in the hospital. After the first month of treatment, she was feeling very sick and had difficulties walking. Joelle is now in a treatment phase where most of her treatment is outpatient, and she goes to clinic twice a week. She is now able to go to school part time and dance when her counts are high enough and is feeling well. Joelle has 2-3 years of treatment ahead, and she has many people rooting for her along the way.
Joelle is already ready to give back by dropping off Christmas presents to Masonic Children's Hospital, coffee gift cards to the nurses, and working lemonade stands to help raise money for cancer research. Her dance studio has been a huge part of this journey - rallying "dancers against cancer."
Joelle is a 2nd grader, dancer, sister, friend and amazing little girl. She has a ton of spunk and energy and has remained so positive throughout her treatment. Her favorite things to do are dance, play pretend with her 3 year-old sister Claire, have dance parties, play dolls and have tea time. She recently received her very first American girl doll, and we would love to create a space for her to play with dolls and drink tea with her sister and friends. Joelle expresses her creativity in many ways. She loves to write, play pretend, make crafts, etc. She even showed us her chapter book she wrote and illustrated about her journey with cancer so far! Designing Dreams can’t wait to create a wonderful space to play for such a special girl! We are #TeamJoelle
Dakaicia, age 12, was diagnosed with lymphoma in August of 2017. However, this is not her first major medical battle faced. She experienced kidney failure in January of 2013 and was placed on dialysis until May 2017 when she underwent a kidney transplant. 3 months later, she was diagnosed with the unimaginable, cancer. She currently receives chemotherapy in the hospital every Thursday. Dakaicia has had many hospital stays due to complications, blood transfusions, and side effects.
Dakaicia is a sweet, shy girl who has wonderful aspirations of becoming an astronomist or archeologist. She loves anything space related. Her interests also include creative projects related to astrology, painting, or building Legos. Her favorite books are the Harry Potter series, which she is in the process of reading for the first time. When able to, she loves to visit the Planetarium and Discovery World with her grandma. Another favorite of hers is playing video games. Dakaicia hopes for a blue and purple colored space, books to fill her shelves, and maybe even a telescope!
One of Dakaicia’s favorite things is playing outside with her friends, but unfortunately her treatment has affected her ability to do so. She now spends the majority of her time in her room to rest and recover. We were so excited to be able to get to know Dakaicia and her grandmother. Our goal was to transform her room into the perfect escape where she can create, learn about space, explore her curiosity, and most importantly, recover in a positive, encouraging environment. We are #TeamDakaicia.
Andrew is a courageous, 11 year-old boy from Kenosha, WI who is facing his second battle against cancer. In June of 2008, at 2 years old, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). He endured over 3 years of treatment, including chemotherapy and painful lumbar punctures. In October of 2016 Andrew relapsed with ALL. After relapse he stayed in the hospital from around Thanksgiving time through New Year's, staying at home only about 25 days in the first 4 months of treatment. Andrew is once again undergoing chemotherapy and is currently looking at an additional year and a half of active treatment, which is much more difficult with stronger, more intense doses of chemo.
Andrew also has Ataxic Cerebral Palsy which impacts the muscle tone in his legs and sometimes his balance. He tends to walk on his toes and at times struggles with fine motor control. He was born premature and in combination with the chemotherapy injections into his spinal fluid he has learning delays and processing issues. He has always been an outgoing, social boy, but as of late he has struggled with anxiety and self-image due to fatigue and hair loss.
When we walked into Andrew’s room for the first time, there is no doubt he finds his safe place and escape in his room filled with Legos. In every corner you find Star Wars toys and Star Wars characters built from Legos. In addition to Legos, Andrew loves all animals, especially golden retrievers and riding horses at a therapy program. Andrew was sharing a room with his brother until January 2017. He now has his own space Designing Dreams transformed into his dream bedroom- A Star Wars escape where he can create, play, and recover back to his energetic self. August of 2017 we had so much fun transforming a place for this fun-loving boy, Andrew! #TeamAndrew
Clementine (Emmy), age 8, was diagnosed in November 2016 with bleeding on the brain due to a tumor. After a successful surgery to remove the tumor, her family had the final devastating diagnosis of cancer, Glioblastoma Multiforme grade 4 (GBM). She went through 6 weeks of radiation and is now participating in a clinical trial in Pittsburgh to increase her chances of a positive prognosis. The trial is run by the University of Pittsburgh at Children’s.
Clementine is a wonderful, loving 8 year-old little girl who is continuously expressing generosity and thinking about others, especially her sister Penelope (Penny). She enjoys expressing her creativity throwing different outfits together, and her family jokes that she could be the next Betsy Johnson. Her unique creativity also extends to her art projects. Emmy and Penny hoped to have cozy spaces to curl up and read their books.
Despite the difficult battle Clementine is facing, she continues to remain positive and think about others. Designing Dreams' goal was to create a perfect escape for Penny and Emmy where they can read a good book or create a masterpiece. Emmy lights up a room with her smile and her positive energy is undeniable. It was wonderful getting to know Emmy and her entire family. #TeamClementine
Bella is a spunky 14 year-old girl with an obsession for makeup and a creative passion for painting, DIY projects, watching Netflix, making videos and singing. She also enjoys biking and mountain biking. Her favorite colors include lavender, baby blue, dusty rose and maroon. Bella’s dream job is to be a movie makeup artist or actress.
In December 2015, Bella developed a hard lump on her left hand after hanging from a pull up bar. Her primary care physician ordered X-Rays, which showed damage to the bone in her hand. A follow-up CT scan showed probable malignancy. After surgical excision of her tumor, Bella was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer that affects connective tissue in the body. Throughout 2016, Bella endured a long, difficult treatment path. She underwent chemotherapy weekly, sometimes daily for a week, from the end of January 2016 until just recently. She also received daily doses of regular and highly concentrated radiation for 5½ weeks. Through her strength and perseverance, Bella’s treatment has shown excellent results.
Bella has remained optimistic throughout her journey, immersing herself in artistic activities and keeping a courageous, positive attitude. We hope to surround Bella with her favorite things, providing her a room where she can let her creativity soar, whether it is doing makeup, creating art pieces, or making movies. Designing Dreams is so excited to work with this glamorous girl and her family throughout late winter of 2017!
Let us introduce you to Henry. Henry is a lively, social little boy from Minneapolis, Minnesota who was diagnosed with Leukemia in February of 2015. Treatment for Henry's type of leukemia typically lasts a total of 3 and a half years, the 3rd year being required only for males. The first year of treatment was intense and Henry was very ill. He lost his hair, his appetite, and his energy. He also battled ear infections, colds, diarrhea, vomiting, and anger and sadness. The steroids Henry takes make him feel these intense emotions. Many days were spent at the hospital for treatment, and his care team became a second family.
Henry's response to treatment thus far has been fairly good. Currently he is developing a condition called neuropathy, which causes him to lose feeling in his arms and legs causing him to fall and trip frequently. Other side effects have caused a rash to spread across his entire face, brain fog, and slurred speech. Unfortunately, like many other children, he will have long term chemotherapy effects, which could include development of an additional form of cancer. He will have cognitive issues, dental issues, and muscle and bone issues as a result.
Despite Henry’s hardships at a young age, he still enjoys being a very active 3 year old! He has a passion for anything hockey and loves superheroes and cars. He is also very intelligent, never wanting to a put a book down. Henry’s creativity is undeniable, shown in his love for building.
The Designing Dreams team was beyond thrilled to complete Henry’s bedroom transformation in December 2016! Our goal was to capture his positive and creative energy within our work. We feel privileged to have had the chance to work with and get to know Henry and his family. Henry and his family have been a blessing to Designing Dreams!
Meet Cecilia, our 7th bedroom transformation recipient! In April of 2016, Ceci was diagnosed with a Stage 3 Wilms Tumor. As a result, she underwent surgery in May 2016 at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. The surgical team was able to remove the entire pineapple size tumor along with her left kidney and part of her diaphragm. In the same month, Ceci began radiation and chemo treatments which are scheduled to last through the upcoming year. Ceci’s father, mother, and sister have all demonstrated incredible strength throughout this difficult journey. Her mother is currently taking time off of work to support Ceci and all of her needs. Please take a look at the link below to learn more about Ceci’s story and how you can help: https://www.youcaring.com/cecilia-anschutz-56…/update/513678
Ceci is described as a girly-girl, extremly sweet, smart, kind, animated, and quite the goofball! She loves to play outside, jump off the dock into the lake, visit with family, play with friends, dance, and cook. Ceci’s dream job is to either be a chef, dancer, singer, or piano player. The Designing Dreams team was extremely thrilled to transform a space for Ceci in October 2016! #TeamCeci
Meet out next bedroom recipient, Mason! Mason is an adorable four-year-old boy from St. Paul, Minnesota who was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) when he was two. ALL is a cancer of the white blood cells, the cells that are used to fight infections. Since his initial diagnosis, he has undergone induction therapy and has also endured many rounds of both intravenous (IV) and spinal chemotherapy. Mason has responded very well to treatment – yet he continues to receive monthly IV chemotherapy as well as spinal chemotherapy every three months. In addition to receiving chemotherapy at the hospital, he has many medications to take, sometimes reaching up to 14 pills in a single day. As a result of Mason’s extensive treatment, he has chronic leg pain, making it hard for him to keep up with his brother and sister (Kole and Ava). However, this doesn’t stop him from being the wild and fun little boy that he is!
Mason is truly a trooper and always has a smile on his face, which is extremely inspirational considering his difficult treatment. Mason currently shares a room with his twin brother, Kole. It is no surprise that Mason and his brother have a special bond; Kole always misses his brother during the hospital stays and numerous medical appointments Mason must attend. Both boys admire superheros: Mason loves Batman, while his brother loves Spiderman. The twins spend time coloring together, and often show off their artwork around their room.
The Designing Dreams team loved giving Mason a new reason to smile throughout the midst of all his treatments; a fun new room to play in, filled with his favorite toys! We hoped to transform Mason and Kole’s bedroom, capturing their energetic, fun spirits. Our team love to work with such an inspiring, bubbly fighter and his family in May 2016. #TeamMason
Meet Grant, our fifth bedroom transformation recipient! Grant is a 13-year-old boy from Georgetown, South Carolina. Grant recently came down with a cough, and he was sent to the Medical University of South Carolina after doctors found a mass in his chest. Grant was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoma on August 31, 2015. He will be undergoing treatment for the next two-and-a-half years; the first six months being the most rigorous. Grant is unable to leave the hospital (whenever he has a fever) until his counts are high enough to fight infections on his own. He has been in and out of the hospital frequently due to a persistent cold.
Grant loves to hunt, fish, and play golf. As a result of his treatment, he will not have the energy to do the things he loves – such as go outside and hang out with friends. Grant’s family and friends describe him as having an awesome sense of humor. Since his diagnosis, he has been a source of strength for his family. Grant is extremely driven in school, having been on the honor roll since third grade! Every day his attitude is awesome, and his faith is strong.
The Designing Dreams team enjoyed working with Grant and his family in January of 2016. Over the next couple of years, Grant will be spending a lot of time in his room. We were so excited to give him a space to escape to! #TeamGrant
Meet our fourth bedroom recipient, Hailey! Hailey is a beautiful ten-year-old girl from Wisconsin who was diagnosed with high-grade anaplastic ependymoma in 2007. Anaplastic ependymoma is a condition that causes cancerous tumors in both her brain and spine. Hailey is a tough little girl who has undergone numerous surgeries, radiation and chemo treatments, as well as difficult procedures including spinal taps, MRIs, and more. She is currently enduring daily oral chemo treatments at home in addition to chemotherapy at the hospital every two weeks. Through the midst of her treatments, we are ecstatic to provide Hailey with an unforgettable bedroom transformation that can help take her mind off of her many treatments
Hailey has an infectious smile and brings a joyful presence into every room. She is extremely outgoing, and she loves to draw. Hailey especially enjoys writing cards to people that are sick. Like many young girls, pink and purple are her favorite colors. Hailey loves music and also the outdoors - one of her favorite things is to go fishing with her dad.
The Designing Dreams team was beyond excited to complete Hailey’s transformation in October 2015! Our goal was to capture her bright spirit within our work. Our team felt privileged to work with such an inspiring, positive, beautiful fighter. #TeamHailey
Meet our third bedroom redesign project recipient, Ben! Ben was diagnosed with Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL), a relatively rare Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, in January 2014. He completed his first round of treatment in May of 2014 but relapsed in June of 2014. He then started a different series of chemotherapy and received an umbilical stem cell transplant in September 2014. Ben’s treatment plan for the next year is to continue his rehabilitation and attend daily medical appointments. Although this past year Ben has faced many difficult medical battles, he has approached each situation with his humor proving he continually makes the best of every situation.
While Ben’s illness keeps him from his regular activities, including school, he still has a passion for an abundance of activities. Ben likes reading, loves video games and enjoys history. Outdoors, he enjoys swimming, sailing, camping, and playing in the yard with his friends. In the winter, he also enjoys skiing and snowboarding. Ben is an active Boy Scout, plays the violin, and sings in a choir. He seeks to make his community a better place by volunteering in a variety of ways. Ben's favorite colors are green and blue.
Designing Dreams redesigned Ben's bedroom in April of 2015.
Jared is a 12 year old boy who has Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH), a cancer-like condition. LCH involves a proliferation of Langerhans or abnormal cells deriving from the bone marrow, which can migrate from skin to lymph nodes and can result in bone lesions as well as multisystem disease. He has a specific neurodegenerative type which affects his central nervous system leaving which has resulted in some physical limitations, cognitive issues etc. His speech at times is slurred. He is currently undergoing chemo for LCH. He has been getting chemo for a little over two years. His balance is off, so he needs somebody close by because he could fall at any time. He has had 133 chemo treatments so far and has never cried or had a negative attitude about any of it.
At the moment, Jared goes to school for half days where he must use a wheelchair. Jared is limited to what he can do because of mobility issues. His favorite things are Transformers, Legos too, and the Three Stooges. Jared’s favorite colors are green and red. He holds a lot of emotions inside. When his mother told him about Designing Dreams, he said he was so excited he was about to burst!
Designing Dreams redesigned Jared's bedroom in July of 2014.
When Jessica was only 3 years old she was diagnosed with you Ewing’s Sarcoma in her left tibia. She underwent chemo and radiation and was declared in remission.
Then, in July of 2008, the cancer was back - this time in her shoulder blade. She had more chemo and more radiation; in May of 2009 she was considered in remission again. In August of 2010, on routine scans, it was found the cancer was back in both her tibia and shoulder blade.
Jessica underwent more chemo and then surgery. February 3rd of 2011 she had her shoulder blade amputated and on March 22nd 2011 she had her leg amputated. That very night, after waking up from surgery, she wanted Auntie Anne's Pretzels, with extra cheese, and a blue Icee!
She finished chemo and 3 months later, on another routine scan, a spot was found in her lung. It was decided to wait and watch it for a while. In November of 2012, Jessica and her family decided it was time to see what she was dealing with. Jess had a biopsy and lung ablation. The biopsy came back positive for Ewing’s and once again, she was back on chemo. In July 2013, the unthinkable happened. The cancer had metastasized to her brain.
Jessica completed 19 days of whole brain radiation on August 13th of 2013. Recently after undergoing more treatment, doctors found that the tumors had shrunk over 50%. Great news!
Designing Dreams redesigned Jessica's bedroom in January of 2014. We appreciate every single supporter throughout the process of making this little girl’s dream come true.