Bedroom Makeover Revealed: 8-Year-Old Cancer Patient Shows Off Her Special Surprise


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EAST TROY, Wis. (WTMJ) — The granddaughter of a Waukesha firefighter is in the fight of her life, but the kindness and generosity of the community is making her battle with cancer a little easier to bear.

Meet Mary Schroeder, a very energetic second grader who you couldn’t tell was sick all night and in the hospital the day before.

Last fall, Mary and her family learned from doctors at Children’s Hospital why she sometimes felt terrible, unexplained pain.

“She has leukemia. This is how our whole world is changing,” said Jennifer Schroeder, Mary’s mother.

“It’s gone backwards. I was so tired afterwards,” Mary said.

Mary’s parents say she is undergoing aggressive chemotherapy treatments at the MACC Fund Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, in addition to dealing with excruciating cancer.

“She was in a lot of pain. She was not able to walk. She wasn’t able to move. She couldn’t get comfortable. This form of cancer is so painful,” Jennifer said.

“It really affects his bones. There is no such thing as a sore muscle that you can massage,” said Mark Schroeder, Mary’s father.

Despite all the smiles, while I talked to Mary, she often needed to sit or be carried. To help her through this difficult battle, Mary received a room makeover from Special Spaces, a nonprofit organization that provides dream rooms for children with cancer.

“Mary wanted sparkle, cupcakes and as much crazy zap energy as possible. And she spends a lot of time in her bed, so this is my first time papering a ceiling,” said Cindy Thota of Special Spaces Wisconsin.

On the day of the big reveal, Mary wasn’t feeling well. She ended up returning to the hospital after seeing his room. So when we asked Mary’s family what they wanted to share about her battle with cancer, they asked if they could reveal her room to us.

“Close your eyes. Close your eyes. You too, Jeff,” Mary told our photojournalist Jeff. Then she told us to open our eyes and started showing us the curtains and the sequined headboard, the pink wall, sprinkles on the ceiling, a gumball machine and candy decorations everywhere.

“Special Spaces has no idea what a gift this is to our family, every day. Every time she wakes up, every time she walks into this room, we remember the people who love us and surround us. It’s a warm hug,” Jennifer said.

Even though Mary is going through a difficult time, she also wants to help other children with cancer. She is currently raising money for the MACC Fund Toy Closet. Mary explained that it’s a place where children who are undergoing a difficult procedure or treatment can go and get a toy. If you would like to donate, we have a link below on how you can donate money or you can visit the Amazon Kids Wish List to purchase an item to donate.

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