Meet our next wonderful little bedroom recipient from Minnesota! Joelle is a 7 year-old girl who was diagnosed with B-ALL leukemia on September 19th of 2017. In the middle of July her parents found a lump on her head. After a multiple doctor appointments, they determined it was a benign tumor and it could be removed. The tumor was scheduled to be removed in September. In August, she complained of pain in her back and sides, but there were no apparent abnormalities on x-rays. When she started school in September, she seemed to be more tired than usual and had bruising on her legs. When she went for a pre-operative exam to remove the mass she had a swollen lymph node on her neck and a fever. After several appointments and blood work, her pediatrician was very concerned and told Joelle’s parents to go to Children's right away. On the night of September 19th, Joelle and her family were given the devastating diagnosis of leukemia. Joelle spent the first 2 months in the hospital. After the first month of treatment, she was feeling very sick and had difficulties walking. Joelle is now in a treatment phase where most of her treatment is outpatient, and she goes to clinic twice a week. She is now able to go to school part time and dance when her counts are high enough and is feeling well. Joelle has 2-3 years of treatment ahead, and she has many people rooting for her along the way.

Joelle is already ready to give back by dropping off Christmas presents to Masonic Children's Hospital, coffee gift cards to the nurses, and working lemonade stands to help raise money for cancer research. Her dance studio has been a huge part of this journey - rallying "dancers against cancer."

Joelle is a 2nd grader, dancer, sister, friend and amazing little girl. She has a ton of spunk and energy and has remained so positive throughout her treatment. Her favorite things to do are dance, play pretend with her 3 year-old sister Claire, have dance parties, play dolls and have tea time. She recently received her very first American girl doll, and we would love to create a space for her to play with dolls and drink tea with her sister and friends. Joelle expresses her creativity in many ways. She loves to write, play pretend, make crafts, etc. She even showed us her chapter book she wrote and illustrated about her journey with cancer so far! Designing Dreams can’t wait to create a wonderful space to play for such a special girl! We are #TeamJoelle

by Kelly O'Donnell

Executive Director

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