By Bill Hudson


ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Children battling cancer have a new angel in their corner, helping bring smiles to their faces.

“We truly believe that it gives them that joy for that moment that they open that door,” said Mardel Curwick.

Mardel Curwick and her daughter, Lauren, created the nonprofit they named Designing Dreams.

Its goal is to transform the bedrooms of sick children, surprising them when they come home from the hospital.

The latest gift is nearing completion inside a home in St. Paul.

“Our signature in every room is a chalkboard,” explains Lauren Curwick.

With a fresh coat of chalkboard paint the bedroom walls are screaming to be written on. And soon, that’s exactly what they hope 4-year-old Mason, who is battling a cancer known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, will be doing.

“When they open that door and see the room for the first time, you can’t even describe the feeling,” said Mardel Curwick.

The mother and daughter created the 503c Designing Dreams back in 2012.

“When they hear that their child is diagnosed with cancer their world stops,” said Lauren Curwick, who aspires to become a pediatric oncologist.

When Mason comes home on Saturday afternoon, his room will have a superhero feel to it. Batman for him, Spiderman for twin brother Kole.

“We give them something to look forward to and getting out of that rut of just making it through the day,” said Lauren.

Cityscapes will be a welcomed relief from the boring and sterile hospital room walls. And the new bunk bed and other furnishings complete the transformation.

“It will be their art space,” Lauren points out.

But most importantly, it will be a place to leave the medicine behind, letting children like Mason simply be kids again.

“Until the day that we don’t have any little children with cancer, then we love doing this,” Mardel said.

All the work is done on a shoestring budget. The nonprofit relies heavily on donations and volunteers.

Curwick says a typical makeover will cost between $5,000 and $6,000, including all the new furnishings and toys.

For more information on supporting the cause or suggesting a deserving child, click here.

WCCO was there on Saturday when the twins’ room was revealed. Check out the video below to see their reaction.

Bill Hudson

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