MINNEAPOLIs (WCCO) – Growing up, there’s something really special about your bedroom. But for those who battle life-threatening illnesses, their spaces feel more medical than youthful.
The charity Special Spaces Minneapolis takes those rooms and transforms them into dream rooms with the help of donations and volunteers.
Our WCCO cameras were there for the most recent big reveal for Kate the Great.
The beginning of Kate’s life was just five short years ago, but it has been a long journey.
“In her five young years of life she has been sedated 68 times,” Stacy McAllister, Kate’s mother, said.
Kate was born at 35 weeks with Pfeiffer Syndrome.
“It’s a condition where the skull bones fuse prematurely and it affects between one in 100,000 and one in 200,000 babies,” McAllister said.
There wasn’t much the doctors could tell the McAllisters, and Kate’s future was unclear.
But today, Kate is an energetic, intelligent little lady.
“She’s normal,” McAllister said. “She’s a normal five-year-old.”
Kate spends a lot of time in the hospital, and that is where her ENT named her Kate the Great.
“[She said,] Wow, she’s healing great! Oh my goodness, it’s Kate the Great. And it stuck,” McAllister said.
That’s also where she was nominated for a dream room makeover through the charity Special Spaces Minneapolis.
“We raise the funds, design the rooms and then get a crew of volunteers to create the bedroom within one day. Our goal for the room was to really help provide some more organization for the family to make their day-to-day life easier. As well as incorporate some of the things Kate loves,” Chelsey Green, Director Special Spaces Minneapolis said. “She’s a girly girl, so we included lots of girly, special details for her.”
Kate’s mom remembered the moment her daughter walked into the dream room.
“When she saw it, her whole face lit up, and she was so excited,” McAllister said. “She shook with excitement and looked at everything. And didn’t know where she was supposed to look. It was incredible to see that kind of joy for her.”
Kate’s new room is drizzled in pink and princesses, but its functional features give mom and dad a newfound freedom.
“It gave us something we’ve never had before,” McAllister said. “New parents bring their babies home, and maybe they’re in their room for a couple months. And they transition them to their big girl room or their nursery. We never had a nursery because Kate couldn’t be alone.”
Those worries are gone. Special Spaces installed a video monitor that is fixed on Kate while she sleeps peacefully.
“We have a picture in the room that says, ‘Though She Be But Little, She Is Fierce.’ I think that sums up Kate so well,” Caitlin Michels, who helped make the room possible with Special Spaces Minneapolis, said.
Fierce Kate the Great now has her own special space.
“She’s always had a room, it just wasn’t hers,” McAllister said. “It was so medically-based that this just gives her the opportunity to be five.”
There’s a huge list of sponsors who made the bedroom possible, including Bob Michels Construction.
If you want to find out more about Special Spaces Minneapolis, visit Special Spaces online.