Mary Nelson is a Mahwah 9-year-old who suffers from Neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerve tissue. Mary has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments since she was seven years old, and had surgery to remove an ocular tumor earlier this month.
This Saturday, Mary and her family will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
More than 250 people have volunteered to help the Dream Room Makeover team redecorate Mary’s bedroom with a groovy 70’s theme. Like the TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, on which the charity is based, Dream Home Makeovers takes the family on a daylong trip, and while they are away prepares a brand new space.
The transformation is happening Saturday, but according to DRM founder Robert Stern, Wednesday is the last day for residents who have not already signed up to help to get involved. “We have gotten a lot of donations, and we are pretty much ready,” Stern said in a phone interview Tuesday night. “But, we would like to buy two more pieces of furniture.” Stern said an additional $1,000 in donations “would be exactly what we need.”
Those who want to help can donate any amount via the Dream Room Makeover website. However, Stern said Wednesday is the last day to donate before the transformation this weekend. “If people donate on Wednesday, the transaction will go through and we will get the money by Friday. We’ll be able to buy the extra two pieces of furniture for Mary,” he said. “If people wait until Thursday to donate, it will not go through in time, and we won’t get the money until Monday.”
According to Stern, many local residents and businesses have donated money, furniture, supplies, time, food for the volunteers and more. Businesses who have helped out so far include The Home Depot, Allied Carpet, Ikea Paramus, Attention to Detail (interior decorators who have donated all of their time), the Bergen Highlands/Ramsey Rotary Club, the Plant Church, LightEmporium.com, the MWW Public Relations group, the township of Mahwah, and Sonny and Tony’s Pizza and Restaurant, which will deliver over 40 donated pies to feed the volunteers Saturday.