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Dreams came true this weekend as we completed our first official room for The Pattyn Project. Our team was so excited to dive in headfirst after enjoying all the blessings of the holidays, and this was the perfect way to do it. On a Sunday afternoon while the Steelers pummeled their first round playoff opponent, we headed down to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC to meet a 7 year old Cowboys fan named Shea, who greeted us with a bright blue Popsicle grin. Much to our good fortune, the Cowboys were not the theme of her room.  Shea is what we call a “frequent flyer” meaning unfortunately, this is not her first hospital experience. She is staying on the oncology unit awaiting a bone marrow transplant. Patient’s receiving bone marrow transplants have to follow strict rules concerning infection control and are often limited to very little time outside of their rooms, if any at all. What a perfect place to begin the journey with The Pattyn Project!

After meeting with Shea, along with her mom Misty, and her dad Cal, earlier in the week, we showed up with a colorful, whimsical, Shopkins inspired room plan. Shea’s new bedding was a bright spot with a full Shopkins comforter set as well as blanket, and stuffed animal. She also received Shopkins and Littlest Pet Shop games/playsets to help keep her imagination churning throughout this difficult upcoming week. She chose to complete a tissue paper craft, helping to select colors for various tissue paper flowers which were hung throughout the room, as well as placed in a vase on her windowsill. We discovered while decorating that Miss Shea is counting down the days to the birthdate she shares with Casey on January 24th; so we wrote out a birthday countdown on the chalk side of her new easel, while she dabbled in various other art supplies to create her own beautiful artwork on the opposite side.

It was a true pleasure to spend the afternoon with this bright, funny, brave little girl. After transforming the room, the smile on her face was undeniable, as she snuggled under her new soft blanket and took a picture with mom and dad. This is just one of many spaces we hope to help patients reclaim, as we continue forward with this project in the New Year. We could not have asked for a better first patient. Thank you friends and family for your endless support and patience as we have navigated the waters in preparation for this first room. We hope you all will continue to consider donating to this special cause, so we can continue to lift the spirits of young fighters like Shea. We ask that you all keep her in your thoughts and prayers during her time in the hospital, as we hope for a smooth and successful upcoming bone marrow transplant! Thank You Shea!