A Gamer’s Paradise lifts Abel’s Spirits

Twelve-year-old Abel had always been relatively healthy for all his life. He loved to play soccer and basketball, video gaming, going to school, and hanging out with his friends. When he started complaining of stomach pains his mom took him to the doctor who recommended an over-the-counter medicine to see if it would subside. Neither his mom nor doctor anticipated the severity of his health issues. Abel’s condition worsened and he began to lose weight, have no appetite, and become pale, a week later they decided to draw his blood. The next day Abel and his family received the shocking diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), and their world flipped upside-down. His mom quit her job to help take care of Abel as he began chemotherapy immediately. This caused hair loss, skin irritation, and overall sadness as he could no longer engage in his favorite activities.

After being selected by Designing Dreams, Abel waited a long time for his bedroom transformation due to Covid. Once our Dream Team was finally given the go-ahead, we couldn’t have been more excited to start his room and create a space that would cheer him up. Abel had become increasingly passionate about video games since his diagnosis, and told our interior designer Mardel, “you don’t even have to put a bed in it, I just want a gaming room.” We ultimately decided to include a bed in the room (even the best gamers must sleep!) but we knew we had found our inspiration.

The bedroom design began with a fun rug featuring multicolored gaming controllers, followed by a cool grayish-blue coat of paint on the walls. We added a new bed with lots of storage underneath, a black bedspread, and gaming-themed accent pillows and wall décor. No contest though, easily Abel’s favorite part about his bedroom transformation was the new gaming system! The gaming chairs (one for him, and one for his sister so they can play together) and metal desk to hold all his new equipment completed the package. Abel had also expressed interest in colorful lights, so we added bright color-changing light strips around the back of his monitor and desk as the finishing touch to his gamer’s paradise.

The Dream Team was fortunate enough to have some help on this transformation, as Badger Meter sponsored the room their employees volunteered to help make it all come together. Shaun Bradley from Bradley Finishings also donated his time to paint the room. We’re forever grateful for their assistance!

Abel and his family were thrilled with how the room turned out. They let our team know, “You guys really change children's lives who deal with cancer. All we can say is thank you.”

Kelly O'Donnell

Executive Director & Board of Directors

Kelly holds an MBA in Social Impact & Leadership from Boston University and a Digital Marketing Certificate from Cornell University. She is the Founder of Lively Digital Marketing.