Jennifer Perez was only 9 years old when she was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer. She beat it twice. Then, days ago, she learned that it had returned for the third time in as many years.
But Perez, now 12, had a chance to smile on Sunday afternoon and forget about the illness that took her left leg.
“I’m very happy about it,” she said. “This was definitely what I had in mind and more.”
She came home to a brand new bedroom, recently renovated by a team of interior designers and builders.
The project, which was coordinated by The Room To Dream Foundation, an organization that remodels rooms for children suffering from chronic illnesses, included sweeping changes to what Jennifer herself described as a once “plain,” bedroom.
“One thing Jennifer had wanted was a desk and a vanity, a place where she could color and draw and do makeup....” said Hattie Holland, an interior designer who worked on the project.
Perez’ older brother, Andy, 16, who’s helped his younger sister throughout her cancer battle, also got brand new digs.
“I didn’t think they would add new stuff into my room,” he said. “It was just really amazing and great.”
For her father, Gil, watching his daughter enjoying her new room is a memory he’ll take with him as her journey — and fight — continues.
“I want to take the opportunity now to ask everyone to pray for her because it’s very scary for for us,” he said, fighting through tears. “We need the help. We need people praying for her. It’s been a very bad time for everybody.”
Perez said his daughter has already started cancer treatments.