A San Ramon non-profit organization and local volunteers are in Livermore this week to give a boy with cancer and his family a home makeover so they can heal in comfort.
Special Spaces brings dream room makeovers to children with life-threatening medical conditions, but this time they're taking on a much bigger project for the Carter family in just five days, according to Shelley Ham, San Francisco Bay Area Special Spaces director.
The family's challenges began last summer when they were about to close escrow on their Lorren Avenue home.
What was first believed to be a sprained knee for then 8-year-old Ashton was diagnosed as a rare bone cancer. All of the money parents Kristine and Matt Carter had saved to fix up the house was set aside for his medical expenses, and they ended up moving into a home with old carpet, holes in the walls and no baseboards.
According to the family's website, Ashton has osteosarcoma. He had to have a leg amputated and extensive chemotherapy.
But if all goes well on Sunday the family will come home to find a Yellow Submarine-themed Beatles playroom for Ashton, a Super Mario Brothers bedroom for his 3-year-old brother and a space-themed spot for 8-year-old Julian.
The organization, which depends on fundraising for its makeovers, is able to tackle a more extensive project this time with the help of the community.
in Livermore raised more than $9,000 with a beard-growing contest while more than 50 Home Depot employees from 10 stores are on the job as well.
Other key businesses on the project include:
- Jeff Johnson of Valley Construction, lead contractor in Ashton’s room;
- Lamar Spalding of All In One Home Services;
- Rick Allvey of RCA Construction; and
- Declan Donohue of JW Floor Coverings.
The Special Spaces San Francisco Chapter, founded in June 2010, has more children waiting in the wings for room makeovers, including 16-year-old Kaitlin of Pleasanton, who donated her hair to Locks of Love before losing it to chemotherapy for her lymphoma/leukemia; 14-year-old Shoshone, also of Pleasanton, who loves to dance and dreams of a room of purple and sea foam greens and blues; 10-year-old Luna of Fremont, who had to have a liver treatment; and Jordan, 17, of Morgan Hill, who had a hip replacement to treat his leukemia.