Coming together to boost the spirits of a Bartlett girl battling bone cancer, a team of paint-spattered but energetic volunteers put the finishing touches on a two-week bedroom makeover project Saturday.
The effort was the latest bedroom rehab for Special Spaces Chicagoland, a nonprofit group that specializes in such renovations for severely ill children. Since February 2013, the group has renovated 18 bedrooms in Palatine, Glen Ellyn, Bolingbrook, Chicago and other area communities.
Saturday's work was handled by members of the Aurora-based Team One Volleyball Club. The beneficiary's family asked that she not be identified and declined to be interviewed, but the teen girls on the team got to meet her and felt inspired by her fight.
"She's such a little sweetheart," 16-year-old Asia Green said. "I feel like we're giving her something she really wants."
While the girl stayed in a different part of the house, the volunteers put together and painted furniture and decorations for the room. They also painted the room itself, which previously had been a loftlike TV viewing area.
The new room's walls were painted tiffany blue. Clouds were painted on the ceiling to complete the look.
Area businesses including First Eagle Bank in Bartlett, Rosseland Construction of Bartlett and a Home Depot store in Naperville contributed money, supplies and manpower for the effort.
Special Spaces Director Kelly Knox estimated the work would have had a $26,000 price tag if not for the donations and volunteers.
The girls from Team One were happy to chip in.
"It feels really good to help her out and help her feel better a little bit," said 16-year-old Zimani Betts.
As they neared completion Saturday, the volunteers said they wanted the girl to keep her head up and stay positive as she is treated for the disease.
"She isn't alone," Green said. "We'll stand by her side."