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Mahwah 9-Year-Old With Genetic Disorder To Get 'Dream Home Makeover'

Crews will be in Mahwah at the end of the month to renovate Mary Nelson's bedroom

For nine-year-old Mahwah resident Mary Nelson, who struggles every day with Neurofibromatosis, life is about to get a little bit easier.

The progressive genetic disorder causes tumors on nerve tissue. For Mary, this debilitating condition has resulted in an optic glioma, a tumor on the optic nerve. She has been undergoing chemotherapy since February 2010 in an attempt to shrink the tumor. And, although she is scheduled to undergo surgery to remove the tumor next Tuesday, it is likely that she will never fully regain her sight.  

Thanks to Robert Stern, founder and president of Dream Home Makeovers, Inc. a locally-oriented charity program aimed at transforming the lives deserving children, Mary and her family will soon enjoy a whole new scenery. Taking his cue from the hit ABC show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Stern, along with a team of local volunteers, will remodel Mary’s bedroom.

The non-profit organization is planning to redecorate Mary’s room with a groovy 70’s theme. But, before the team comes to Mahwah March 24, it needs to raise funds and gather volunteers to help. Like the TV show 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.

According to a flier Stern is circulating throughout Mahwah, there are three ways residents can get involved in this project:

Volunteer to help on March 24 with the remodel – The group needs “as many people as possible for the Nelson family.” The renovation will occur between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Locals can sign up on the Dream Home Makeover website.

Donate Product – Individuals and companies who would like to donate materials, furniture, or other home improvement items to be used in the makeover can do so by contacting the organization.

Donate Money – Monetary donations are accepted on the website. Checks payable to Dream Room Makeovers with “Nelson family” on the memo line can be sent to Dream Room Makeovers, 13 Alcott Dr., Livingston, NJ 07039.

According to Stern, help is needed in order to make the project successful for Mary and her family. “As we are under three weeks to the remodel date, [the community’s] help is very much needed,” he said.

Get more information by emailing DreamRoomMakeOvers@gmail.com or calling (201) 618-0975.

Kim Nelson March 11, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Thanks JP. And Mari about the beautiful comment about Mary. You just brought me to tears. Robert, you already know how I feel.
Robert Stern March 11, 2012 at 01:28 PM
And Kin, you know how we feel about you!!!!!!!
Robert Stern March 12, 2012 at 02:33 PM
We are doing a Dream Room Makeover Charity for the family. Our challenge is to get the word out and to donate ay least $5 through the website. http:///www.dreamroommakeovers.org
Mari Meli March 24, 2012 at 11:26 PM
It was a great day and we all worked hard to make this a wonderful outcome. but i finally had to leave for an appt and am waiting to see the REVEAL!!!! Please share any pics/videos ASAP!!!!
Jessica Mazzola March 25, 2012 at 10:09 AM
Mari -- So glad it went so well! Here are the reveal photos! http://mahwah.patch.com/articles/photos-community-volunteers-give-9-year-old-dream-room-makeover#photo-9412738

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