Hurry Hurry - Drive the Firetruck...
Dylan is an incredible little boy who has beaten the odds at life. He struggled and struggled and his family was told countless times he would not be as developed as he is currently. But this devoted family never gave up hope!
The description above is just a few of the kind words shared with us by the organization that nominated Dylan in 2013. It took us almost two years to help this family - but we think they will agree that it was definitely worth the wait!
Dylan, now four, was born blue with Hemolytic anemia, (triggered by the E antigen) a condition in which red blood cells are destroyed and removed from the bloodstream before their normal lifespan is over. Dylan underwent three blood transfusions and Mom and Dad and big sister were told he was A-ok! Fast-forward seven months and Dylan was receiving 9 therapies a week to ensure he achieved his developmental milestones. With love, support, and a lot of interventional therapies, Dylan works hard every day to surpass the goals set by his teachers and therapists! Despite an early diagnosis of Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy, Dylan began walking by age two and he has not stopped trucking despite a moderate intellectual disability and Autism diagnosis.
Dylan's ability to defy the odds and press on is a true testament to his doting family, Mom, Tiffany, Dad, Byron, and his big sister, Mikaila (9)! Mikaila is a wonderful advocate for her brother and teaches her friends sign language and awareness for people first language, too! Everyone needs a big sister like Mikaila! We think she is pretty great so the team made sure to make the time to add some very special touches to her room, too!
Mom, Tiffany, founded Special Needs Playdate in 2014. This amazing organization is focused on inclusion and socialization of families of all abilities. Special Needs Playdate offers private events to families in a non-judgmental, stress-free environment. We encourage everyone to check out this wonderful program that is open to all ages and abilities. Plus, an added benefit is it provides siblings of children with special needs a way to socialize, too.
We hope this new space will provide Dylan with a place to have fun, play, rest and relax. We also hope the safety gate creatively built by Erin will add an extra level of safety and comfort for Mom and Dad! We got to witness just how fast Dylan can be when he is eager to get somewhere (his new room!). This beautiful and sturdy gate will make it almost impossible for Dylan to race out of the house without supervision!
We were so honored to be working with IIDA on this room. If you look at the room closely you'll see professional touches everywhere - from the cozy built in seat with toy bins, to the fan with Firetruck nozzles and wall hooks - there was eye candy everywhere. And Dylan's new closet is something to marvel at! The organization and easy access to the stuff Mom and Dad need will make life a whole lot easier in the future!
Thank you to Sherwin-Williams for providing us with the perfect low VOC paint that created the canvas for our little boy's dream room. Thank you to IIDA, lead designer Erin and Project Manager Jangmee for driving this project from creation through execution. Thank you to Jack Bilz , owner of J. M. Bilz Construction, for all of his hard-work installing Dylan's beautiful bedroom. Thank you to Emily Dolton for painting the room and providing an amazing mural - as well as fantastic real-life trucks to bring the walls to life. And thank you for mentoring the design students from Mesa College and the Design Institute of San Diego with an art party at your house! Thank you to Schmidt Fire Protection for all the goodies that made this over-the-top room come to life. Thank you to Patti Wentz, from Flex Rep Group for the generous gift card that helped us feed the army of volunteers on the day of the install! And last but not least, thank you to Brady and all the San Diego County Firemen from Truck #32 for making Dylan's dream come true! We know that Dylan loves his room, but that was a huge surprise and we're pretty sure he will be going to bed tonight with some very sweet dreams.
We are grateful to our volunteers who are truly the heart and soul of our organization. Thank you to our donors and supporters for making our 69th room makeover possible!
Dylan's Sweet Dream Room Makeover
Thank you to the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) for helping us complete our 69th makeover for children with special needs in San Diego! We had a small army of volunteers on this project and it would not have happened without the amazing leadership of IIDA led by Jangmee Hooper(Project Lead) of Kwalu and Erin Bilz of Delawie (designer!). Thank you to IIDA for funding this amazing room and for the dedicated students who worked tirelessly with the team to create a dream space for Dylan and his family to enjoy.
In addition to having the leadership of IIDA we were lucky enough to have wonderful donations pouring in. Thank you to James, an involved parent of an adult with special needs who specializes in creating fire prevention systems for areas that cannot use water, like labs and other facilitiies where water would damage valuable products. He donated some goodies to make Dylan's fire-truck room come to life.
Thank you to John Dumesnil, an architectural representative from Sherwin-Williams and Mark at the Sherwin-William's store on Morena Blvd. for the generous donation of paint for this room makeover. The team used the ProMar, Zero VOC line and it looked amazing! We are grateful for Sherwin-William's time, generosity and support of our mission. The paint job was perfection and the color set the tone for this fun-loving space!
Thank you to Emily Dolton of Inside Emily Dolton's Head. Emily is an amazing artist and an extraordinary volunteer who goes above and beyond on every Cecily's Closet project. When she is not busy volunteering, she enjoys making dreams a reality for kids and adults. She works with your specific tastes and needs: from modern to traditional, formal to quixotic and crazy! Kids are her favorite clients. Please check out Inside Emily Dolton's Head and call her! You won't regret it!
Thank you to Brady Holden (pictured with Dylan) and The San Diego Fire Department for providing a real fire truck for the day of the reveal! Brady came in full gear to personally take his young fireman in training, Dylan, to see Engine #32! We also wish to thank Retired Fire Chief Richard Bowden and his wife for the stickers and puzzles! Dylan and his family and friends took turns climbing aboard the truck and Dylan even took a quick turn with the hose.
Thank you to Courtney Karlin of Momentum Textiles for donating the beautiful fabric that provided the color pallet for the room! Erin made the custom bench seat using foam she purchased from UFO Fabrics. We love how it turned out and so does Mom! She now has a comfy place to sit while playing with her little angels.