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Child With Cancer Thanks Community for the Home of his Dreams

Nonprofit organization helps fix up rooms of children with life-threatening illnesses, but this time they did much more than that.

The last week of March a team of volunteers from the Tri-Valley joined San Ramon-based Special Spaces to in just five days to help a 9-year-old boy suffering from a rare bone cancer. On March 31st, the family got to walk into their newly revamped home. Special Spaces SF Bay Area director Shelley Ham wrote this thank you letter to everyone who helped.

I wanted to send out a big thank you to all of you who worked so hard at . Truly, truly, we could not have done this makeover without you. I am so appreciative of how many people came together, worked together in tight spaces and were happy to help. Team Ashton…you rock!!!!!

With all respect and sincerity, I thank you! I know it was a challenging week and you all made Ashton a priority…my gratitude to you all.

First Street Alehouse…thanks Ron, Brook and Mike for all your fundraising and hard work…you, your staff,and all the “Beard Growing” participants made this makeover a possibility. Valley Construction Company, you made Ashton your top priority and his room shows that – thank you! Home Depot, thank you for always showing up in a big way! JW Floor Coverings – wow – the carpet looks great and your installers were just amazing. All In One Home Services, we are so proud to have you on our team. RA Construction, thanks so much for your helping us with another meaningful project! CTI Builders, you are outstanding!

And special thanks to all the people who fed us – Ron, Mahi, Lydia, Sarah and friends, Marilyn and Suzie…great job and great food…thank you! And finally a big thank you to our corporate sponsors who provided product: , Jill/The Oganesians, Mancini’s Sleepworld, , Heritage Bank, , AldenLane, Armstrong Garden, LH Voss Landscape Materials, Devil Mountain Nursery, Domus, and Rick’s Picks.

 Ashton loves his home!!!!!! The first thing he said when he woke up (after seeing the makeover March 31) was, “I LOVE MY ROOM!” This is a kid who likes being organized and doesn’t like a mess. We all stepped up to help Ashton have a home he can feel good in and can now stop stressing on the clutter and things that were broken down.

He’s back in the hospital for another long round of chemo. If you pray, please include Ashton in your prayers, as this child is far from being well. But, I can tell you that he is happy, relaxed, and excited about the future. He has so much hope and can’t wait to be home from the hospital to be back in his house.

“It just makes me happy and I can’t stop smiling,” he said. This kid needed this really badly, and his parents have pride in their home as a result of all of you. They now realize how much it means to Ashton to have an organized and well-kept home which is why we did what we did!

 Cheers to a job well done…really…a whole house in five days! Pat yourselves on the back for stepping up and making a huge difference! “It takes a village” and Ashton loves it!

You never know what life is going to throw your way, but I have come to realize over the years that it’s the people around you who care and get you through life’s challenges. I am proud of each and every one of you for stepping up in such a big way. I am proud to have worked side-by-side with you on this project because you all are so about getting the job done with heart. And, I hope that this experience has enriched your life in a way that you won’t soon forget because I can say with all sincerity, “You did great…Thank you!”

To follow Ashton's story, read the Carter family's blog, which describes how they reacted to this special gift they received from the community. Here's a short excerpt:

"...And we love our home so much more now. We have been nothing less than overwhelmed by the support we have received from everyone since this miserable chapter of our life began. We look to Ashton's recovery and we can't wait to give back to the community. Matt and I want to be able to help on a Special Spaces Makeover in the future. It completely brightened up Ashton and changed his whole demeanor. (Because he had to return to the hospital) he hasn't had a lot of time to even enjoy his new room and house. But, oh my gosh, is he looking forward to going home, and his room is all he can talk about!! Ashton may even help on designing a room for a child when he is feeling better. He is so brilliant and creative that he may have found his calling!"

Special Spaces 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.

Akiko April 10, 2012 at 02:45 PM
What a wonderful story, and so good to see the community come together and help Ashton & his family. Ashton will be a part of our prayers. Akiko & John
Renae Wilber April 19, 2012 at 11:55 PM
I am so thankful for communities and non-profits so full of generosity and an outpouring of love for those in need. My best wishes, prayers, and strength for Ashton and his family during this difficult time. Renae Wilber

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