Special Spaces gives Berwyn teenager’s room a makeover

Special Spaces Chicagoland knows that for children with life threatening illnesses a room can be a place of comfort.

Julissa Alvarez, a thirteen year old Berwyn resident with a rare form of cardiac cancer, received a room makeover this Tuesday from Special Spaces.

“I like the colors and everything, its a girly girl room,” said Julissa.

Julissa with her parents and siblings pose for a family portrait in her newly decorated room.

Julissa with her parents and siblings pose for a family portrait in her newly decorated room. (Photos courtesy of Special Spaces Chicagoland)

Julissa’s bedroom was transformed from a space with orange walls, make shift posters, a brown dresser, and plain tapestries into a girly sanctuary. The redecorated room was painted pink with cheetah decals. New light fixtures and curtains, along with a new chic headboard, armoire, and vanity were also added to the room.

Julissa Before and After

Julissa’s room makeover. (Photos courtesy of Special Spaces Chicagoland)

“It was a full ten hours of work today, and then six weeks of planning,” said Kelly Knox, the Chicagoland director for Special Spaces.

Julissa’s room was sponsored by EMC2 of Naperville, an IT solutions company. The company provided 11 employees to help paint and construct throughout the day. Special Spaces is purely volunteered based.

“They worked really hard today, they put everything together,” said Knox of the volunteers.

The organization also remodeled Julissa’s younger sisters’ room and the family’s mud room.

Liliana's and Abagail's room makeover.

Liliana’s and Abagail’s room makeover. (Photos courtesy of Special Spaces Chicagoland)

“They surprised my other two daughters with their room, it was amazing,” said Anna Hernandez, mother of Julissa.

Julissa was nominated to Special Spaces by her child life specialist.

“I cannot find enough words to thank them, Special Spaces is amazing,” said Ana.

Special Spaces was founded in 2004. Their mission is to “create dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening medical illnesses” as a room can be “a place of hope and inspiration, and a special space to find peace and comfort.”

For more information about the organization visit www.specialspaces.org.

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