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Meet Lacqueeta! After saying our goodbyes to Leighton, we didn’t have far to travel for our next room transformation. As it turns out, Leighton and Lacqueeta are next door neighbors on 9B. When we knocked on the door, she and her mom Jacqueline were nowhere to be found, so we inquired at the nurse’s desk and learned that she was at school. We thought to ourselves “this is great” since some of our older patients really enjoy a surprise reveal of their new space. So, we got right to work with bringing her vision of rainbows to life.
When we met this bright and bubbly young 10-year-old along with her mom earlier in the week, we learned that her diagnosis is sickle cell disease. Her condition can leave her tired, out of breath and at a high risk for stroke. In sickle cell disease, the patients red blood cells are defective, so Lacqueeta will be undergoing a bone marrow transplant on the 26th of September. The hope that the new healthy bone marrow will enable her body to start making healthy red blood cells of her own. During our visit, a friend popped in to bring Jacqueline some coffee and homemade mandazi, (which is like a doughnut) that they commonly eat back in Kenya, where her family is originally from. They insisted that we try some even though we had just literally come from Dunkin Doughnuts on our way to the hospital.
Immediately upon entering Lacqueeta’s room, we were impressed with her maturity and infectious personality. She told us about her older brother Austin who is 16, and she proved to be a great interrupter when we had trouble deciphering mom’s wonderful accent. Her ability to articulate exactly what she wanted her room to look like was so refreshing. She rattled off a list that was short and sweet… “I love rainbows, colorful pillows, the color mint and purple, boardgames, art…particularly painting, Stitch from Lilo and Stitch and all the Disney princesses!”
We hung her sign, found a home for the canvas with all the Disney Princesses and had just finished making her bed when Jacqueline walked in. We could read all over her face that she was having a tough day, but the first words out of her mouth were…” It looks like a home.” She was so excited for Lacqueeta to see her new space that she went and got her from school. The reveal was awesome and everything we hope for when we take on these rooms. What made it extra special was we got to share this experience with two special visitors, her teacher who was there tutoring her, and one of her close friends Lilli who had come to visit for the day. We gave mom and Lacqueeta a big hug, let the girls settle back into their game of Life and slipped out the door feeling doubly blessed.
Thank you to everyone who has shown us ongoing support, as well as new friends who have come alongside of us, as we pursue this passion. We couldn’t do it without you! We hope you all will continue to consider donating to this special cause, so we can continue to lift the spirits of vivacious young ladies like Lacqueeta. We ask that you all keep this charming girl and her family in your thoughts and prayers during the remainder of her stay in the hospital, as we hope for persistent progress, and continued strength throughout the rest of her journey to a hopeful recovery. Thank You, Lacqueeta!