Volunteers remodel bedroom for young girl with cancer

OLIVETTE, Mo. (KSDK)-At this house in Olivette on Sunday there were saws, drills and a whole lot of compassion.

"I can't even express how much it means, "homeowner Lori Zucker said.

A bedroom is being completely remodeled with the help of a designer and a group of volunteers.

"The rest of us are school teachers. Professionals that work during the day, "explained Lacy Gambill, the Exec. Director of a non-profit called "Special Spaces".

A few miles away, seven year old Arianna Dougan is spending the afternoon at the

Butterfly House in Chesterfield.

Arianna was enjoying all the butterfly colors.

"Blue, black and red, "she exclaimed.

Arianna loves the same things that most kids do but she's been through far more than most adults.

"Ari was about 2 1/2 when she started having pains in her legs, " said Zucker, Ari's mom.

That leg pain led to an ugly word that no parent ever wants to hear- Neuroblastoma: a ruthless cancer that begins in the nerve cells.

"When you hear cancer, we all have baggage. You think she's going to die, "Zucker said.

From the time she was just three years old Arianna went through 29 rounds of chemotherapy. That's a lot of time in the hospital. So when she was home her bedroom was her safe place.

"A hospital room, we tried to decorate it but it was not hers, "Zucker said.

That's what brought out the volunteers with "Special Spaces" a nonprofit group that creates beautiful bedrooms for children facing life threatening illnesses

"We're trying to do really special touches to tie in with the family so that everything means something to her, "said Interior Designer Cheryl Snow.

"We are rushing her room because we wanted to have it for her birthday, "Gambill said.

Arianna will turn eight on Thursday. She actually picked out all the colors herself but she had no idea this was happening today.

No idea until a little after 5 p.m. when she got home and was smiling from ear to ear.

She started the day as a brave little girl and ended it as a princess. Her castle complete with a ballet bar and a canopy bed. Though her young life has been anything but a fairytale she did offer this advice for other kids with cancer.

"I want them to know that they can do it and they can get through it."

Special Spaces. Building rooms with skilled hands and a lot of heart.


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