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Room makeover revealed: 8-year-old cancer patient shows off her special surprise

<i>WTMJ via CNN Newsource</i><br/>
WTMJ via CNN Newsource

By Rebecca Klopf

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    EAST TROY, Wisconsin (WTMJ) — A Waukesha firefighter’s little girl is in the fight of her life, but the kindness and generosity of the community is making her cancer battle a little easier to bear.

Meet Mary Schroeder, a very high-energy second grader that you could not tell had been up sick all night and in the hospital just the day before.

This past fall, Mary and her family learned from the doctors at Children’s Hospital why at times she was feeling unexplained, terrible pain.

“She has leukemia. So that is how our whole entire world changes,” said Jennifer Schroeder, Mary’s mother.

“It went upside down. I was so tired after,” said Mary.

Mary’s parents say she is undergoing aggressive chemotherapy treatments at the MACC Fund Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, on top of dealing with an excruciating cancer.

“She was in a lot of pain. She wasn’t able to walk. She wasn’t able to move. She couldn’t get comfortable. That form of cancer is so painful,” said Jennifer.

“It really affects her bones. There isn’t like a sore muscle that you can massage,” said Mark Schroeder, Mary’s dad.

Despite all the smiles, while I talked to Mary she often needed to sit down or be carried. To help her through this difficult battle, Mary received a room makeover from Special Spaces, a non-profit that gives dream rooms to children with cancer.

“Mary wanted sparkle, cupcakes, and as much crazy zap energy as you could probably have. And she spends a lot of time in her bed so this is the first time that I have ever, ever wallpapered a ceiling,” said Cindy Thota from Special Spaces Wisconsin.

On the day of the big reveal, Mary wasn’t feeling well. She ended up returning to the hospital after seeing her room. So when we asked Mary’s family what she wanted to share about her cancer battle, she asked if she could reveal her room to us.

“Close your eyes. Close your eyes. You too, Jeff,” said Mary speaking to our photojournalist Jeff. Then she told us to open our eyes and started to point out, the sequins curtains and headboard, the pink wall, the sprinkles on the ceiling, a gumboil machine, and candy decorations everywhere.

“Special Spaces has no idea what a gift this is for our family, every single day. Every time she wakes up, every time she steps in that room we are reminded of the people who love us and surround us. It is a warm hug,” said Jennifer.

Even though Mary here is going through a hard time, she wants to help the other kids who have cancer as well. She is raising money right now for the MACC Fund’s toy closet. Mary explained it is a place where kids who are getting a hard procedure or treatment can go and pick out a toy. If you want to donate., we have a linkhereon how you can give money or you can shop Children’s Amazon wishlist to buy an item to donate.

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