In April, Team of Dreams (led by Amy Gonch), completed a room makeover for a 16-year-old girl living in Connecticut named Keylin. Keylin was diagnosed with leukemia in January of 2020 right before the pandemic began, and she has been receiving treatment since. Our Art from the Heart program had been on hold throughout the beginning of the pandemic as we navigated the best way to safely complete room makeovers for these immunocompromised children.
We called Team of Dreams in the beginning of 2021. As COVID restrictions were starting to lift and vaccinations were more available, this seemed like a safe time to press play on the Art from the Heart program. The team learned from Keylin’s family that this was perfect timing as they had just moved into a new apartment, giving Team of Dreams a blank slate to work with.
“We went to visit Keylin and found that she had just a few pieces of furniture to hold her clothes and things. And she had the most wonderful spirit. Such a positive attitude considering all that she’s going through right now.” – Amy Gonch, team leader
While Team of Dreams met with Keylin, they talked with her about what it is she wanted in a room-- and of course, as most 16-year-old teens, she was inspired by TikTok… all of the things that she sees in the videos… LED lighting, a makeup mirror with lights, ivy vines hanging down the walls. Keylin also wanted a place to do her homework and arts and crafts, and a closet for her clothes. The team also got Keylin a new trundle bed, as her sister – who wanted to sleep with her when she didn’t feel well – was sleeping on cushions on the floor. In meeting with Keylin’s family and exploring the house, they found that Keylin’s sibling and parents also needed new beds, so Team of Dreams got those for them too.
The team leader, Amy, spent a lot of time researching what a TikTok room really looks like. Team of Dreams planned Keylin’s room for six weeks. Their team was limited to six people due to COVID restrictions. On reveal weekend, Team of Dreams had a pre-meeting to determine their game plan, and then it was go-time!
“We met on the day bright and early in the morning, chock full of furniture and tools and supplies. And while we were doing it, we were talking about how lucky we are that we’re in good health and we have the opportunity to do this and that we’re able to get the funding from individuals in our area to perform these kinds of miracles… No matter how exhausting the day is, there’s nothing better than the moment when the family walks into the room and sees the transformation that you’re able to do and know that they’ve got a great place to sleep at night from that point forward.”