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Tag: Dream Bedroom

Marie & Alondra

  • 17 Years Old

  • Diastrophic Dysplasia & Scoliosis

Marie was paralyzed at 8 months old and then adopted by mom Michele at age one. She’s had a life of ups and downs; like most people. Her disability caused scoliosis which meant over 20 surgeries for back rods, lots of days of school missed and then she developed a seizure disorder at age 10. Her seizures are not predictable, so she cannot spend much time alone as she needs an adult to be there in case she has a seizure. 

Marie is a fabulous athlete. She plays basketball for Blaze sports all girls/women team and wheelchair tennis. She is very kind and helpful to others; always willing to teach her classmates math or lend a hand around the house. She is currently studying children’s healthcare in college. 

The home her mom has purchased will be where Marie learns to live independently. This venture will tremendously help her gain the necessary independence that all young adults long for; without the remodel, Marie cannot reach the next milestone in her life: learning how to live in her own home with just a little help and eventually be totally independent.

“Marie & Alondra will be neighbors; living in the same duplex and equally working towards more independent living.”

In her current living situation, Alondra has to be carried through the home by her parents because the hallways aren’t wide enough for her wheelchair. This keeps her from being independent, but with an accessible space she can do most things on her own.

For seven years, Alondra has lived in a home inaccessible to her needs. She has had many back surgeries and is in physical therapy to learn how to manage life in a power wheelchair. She plans on living with her parents for many years to come, so a home that is accessible to her will be life-changing. Alondra is applying to a technical school to be a medical assistant. Her favorite color is burgundy, and she loves lively Spanish music.

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Photography by Marcelino Aguilar

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Kendall

  • 16 Years Old

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Kendall’s parents are high school sweethearts and had three daughters and one son. Camryn, Kendall, Chase and Kaiden all have such beautifully unique personalities and roles within the family. The matriarch of my family is Kendall’s grandmother. She is affectionately known as Grandma to all. Although she is a feisty and fiery golden ager, she is the peacemaker of the family. Together they are Team Thomas. They are a team not because of their quantity, but because their togetherness is their happy place. They are Team Thomas, party of seven, and nothing can break them.

Kendall has a giving spirit and is loveable. She’s a hard worker and very passionate about football. She has always danced to her own beat and always thought outside of the box. Hence, the only female on the North Paulding High School freshman football team. She also played football in fifth grade. Kendall was very active. She refereed soccer, briefly played Lacrosse, loved babysitting, walked dogs, danced at church, and loved volunteering. Her favorite color is pink. Her favorite artists are Beyonce followed by Fantasia, Alicia Keys, and Chris Brown. 

“Kendall has always danced to her own beat and thought outside of the box.”

Their story and Kendall’s life suddenly changed on January 11, 2022, when the actions of one person had a piercing and life-altering effect on Team Thomas.. It was the unimaginable tragedy and near fatality of Kendall, who would later become the epitome of the power of prayer. It was that Tuesday, January 11, 2022, when Kendall was tragically struck by a vehicle at school landing on the left side of her head in front of her 11-year-old brother Chase and several others. Kendall was unconscious for almost three months. She sustained a traumatic brain injury and was fighting for her life. Due to the severity of her injuries, she has had to relearn how to do everything, from talking to walking. She has had four brain surgeries and three other procedures to accommodate her breathing and feeding. Although Kendall has made remarkable and miraculous improvements, she still has a long way to go. Nothing much has changed in regard to her infectious spirit, big personality, and love for Beyonce. Her favorite things to do now are singing and going to church.

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Photography by Catelyn Fraser

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Glenn

  • 14 Years Old

  • Cerebral Palsy, seizure disorder, oropharyngeal dysphagia, spastic quadriplegia and developmental delay

Glenn was born a twin at 38 weeks. However, his identical twin passed during the pregnancy at the 16th week. Several ultrasounds during the pregnancy showed that his head was not growing, and later it was discovered that Glenn would be born with microcephaly. In addition to the microcephaly diagnosis, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth. As an infant, Glenn had high anxiety and needed to be held. At 10 months, Glenn began having challenges swallowing food. After a swallow study was completed, he was diagnosed with failure to thrive which led to his first surgery and a g-tube placement. When Glenn was two, his mom began to often notice that his body jerked abruptly while he slept and that he startled easily at sudden noises. An EEG and a sleep study was completed and he was diagnosed with seizure disorder. Over time he has had a hip surgery and a spinal fusion surgery to correct the scoliosis diagnosis. Glenn has been very strong and resilient throughout all that he has had to endure and has come out of every surgery with a smile. 

“Glenn has been very strong and resilient throughout all that he has had to endure and has come out of every surgery with a smile.

Due to the effects of the cerebral palsy and the severe spasticity, Glenn has never used his hands, nor has he ever or walked. He continues to suffer from multiple seizures daily. He requires total care, as he is dependent on his family for all his needs. Glenn is a happy young man and is a social butterfly who is a big fan of music. He enjoys attention from anyone who will give it to him, and he loves for people to talk to him! He tries hard to talk and sing, and occasionally you can understand some of his words and phrases. He enjoys observing people and waiting for them to do or say something silly so that he can laugh. When Glenn finds something funny, he will laugh and snort to no end. He wakes up smiling every morning ready to play. He understands everything and knows what he likes and dislikes. He is not bashful at showing the world who he truly is!

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Photography by Niki Murphy

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Adam

  • 22 Years Old

  • Cerebral Palsy, Hydrocephalus & mild intellectual disability

Adam is a young adult who has defied the odds and turned his challenges into triumphs. Born with Hydrocephalus and cerebral palsy, Adam has never let his wheelchair-bound condition define him. Instead, he has embraced life with an unyielding spirit and an infectious zest.

His exceptional social skills and his innate ability to uplift everyone around him make him a cherished presence.

Bilingual and highly active, Adam’s accomplishments are as diverse as they are impressive. He is a skilled horseback rider, a tennis player, a swimmer, and even a scuba diver. His determination and discipline have also earned him a green belt in martial arts. Adam’s academic journey is equally inspiring. He attended the IDEAL program at Georgia State University, where he successfully earned his degree. Today, he continues to contribute to the university community through his work at the Center for Leadership and Disabilities. 

Born a twin, Adam’s radiant personality shines as brightly as the sun he loves so much. His exceptional social skills and his innate ability to uplift everyone around him make him a cherished presence. Adam is truly a blessing to those who know him, and his loved ones eagerly anticipate his continued success and the achievement of his goals.

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Photography by Jacey Verhoef

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Damon (DJ)

  • 11 Years Old

  • Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus

“At 24 weeks gestation my life changed forever. I was told that my baby had spina bifida and that his life would be tumultuous at best. It was suggested that I terminate my pregnancy as it was predicted that his quality of life would be very low. I then sought the opinion of some amazing doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta who told me that the information I was provided would not be DJ’s story.  

DJ was born at 32 weeks and this amazing young man has not stopped making an impact in my life and the life of others. Not only did he have spina bifida, but he was also diagnosed with hydrocephalus. He struggled through some developmental delays as he did not start walking until 2 years old; BUT HE STARTED WALKING!!! A prior specialist stated he would never walk, but GOD had other plans.

“He may not run as fast or jump as high as other kids, but this kid has never stopped trying and would challenge you every chance he gets.”

He continues to be a scholar maintaining honor roll since pre-K.  He may not run as fast or jump as high as other kids, but this kid has never stopped trying and would challenge you every chance he gets. Like most kids his age he is an avid gamer with his favorite video game being Super Smash Brothers.  He is a sports fanatic who supports all of his home teams: The Falcons, The Hawks, The Braves, and Atlanta United. He is currently a member of an awesome team, The Gwinnett Heat where he plays wheelchair handball, basketball, and football.  Besides collecting all of the Nintendo Amiibo ever made, his life goals are ever evolving. I am so proud of the young man that he has become and I’m excited to see what more GOD has planned for him in the future.” – Rashida, Damon’s mom

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Photography by Niki Murphy

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Marilyn

  • 20 Years Old

  • Morquio syndrome

Marilyn is a smart, beautiful, and outgoing 20-year-old girl who loves BTS, shopping, boba, makeup and hanging out with friends and family!

She was born with Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) IV, a rare disease in which the body is missing or does not have enough of an enzyme needed to break down long chains of sugar molecules. Because of MPS she is unable to walk or grow and uses an electric wheelchair. Marilyn wears glasses and hearing aids and has had multiple surgeries to help with her health and mobility.

“This room makeover will bring her so much happiness and give her the independence of not needing help from her parents and siblings.”

In her current room situation, her wheelchair is not able to be brought into the house. She would love to have her wheelchair inside the house so that she is not limited to just being in her room. This room makeover will bring her so much happiness and give her the independence of not needing help from her parents and siblings. Sunshine on a Ranney Day is beyond thrilled to be able to offer wheelchair access into her home and a bedroom of her dreams!

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Photography by Carmen Mari

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Logan

  • 13 Years Old

  • Transverse Myelitis, paraplegia and autonomic dysreflexia

Logan is an active 13 year old that does not let his wheelchair or crutches cramp his style. He loves to be independent and show the world he can! Most of the time he is in his wheelchair, but uses crutches periodically to get up and down steps or to transfer. Logan acquired transverse myelitis in his spine at 5 months of age, which left him with incomplete paraplegia.

He is an athlete! He excels at everything he tries. He has been on a competition swim team, Challenger baseball (where his picture is hanging in the Little League Baseball Hall of Fame in Williamsport, PA), and currently plays on the Jr. Hawks prep basketball team with Blaze Sports. He loves his coaches and teammates and plans on hopefully getting a college scholarship in the future.

Logan is an active 13 year old that does not let his wheelchair or crutches cramp his style.”

Logan’s other interests include the guitar, books, e-sports, content creating on social media platforms and chorus in school. He also thinks he’s funny – he will tell you jokes 24/7 if you let him. Some are funny, some are dumb dad jokes, but he always thinks he’s a pro. He will tell you that when he grows up, his parent’s want him to go to college and maybe become a computer programmer or something in that field, but he wants to become a “sit down comedian.” Sunshine on a Ranney Day can’t wait to give spunky Logan an accessible dream bedroom and bathroom!

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Photography by Your Agent Catelyn

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Lyra

  • 7 Years Old

  • Autism spectrum, sensory processing and speech disorders, global developmental delay

Lyra is an incredible 7 year old kid. She has never met a stranger because everyone is a friend and she cares deeply for them. She loves all things glitter, unicorn, and pink. She is a kind, inclusive, and thoughtful kiddo that brightens the world of everyone she knows. She loves to craft and make things like cards, bracelets, pictures, and trinkets for all of her friends. Lyra lives to help especially in the kitchen and caring for the chickens. Her family adores her and she is her little brother’s hero. 

“She has never met a stranger because everyone is a friend…”

Her family learned that Lyra is autistic when she was two and a half years old at the Marcus center and she has grown so much since then. She receives support from services at McKenna farms and Focus on Function. On top of that, she gets to learn at her own pace and in her preferred learning styles at home. Sunshine on a Ranney Day is excited at the opportunity to transform her basement room into a safe learning/therapy room! Her favorite place to be is outside – swings, picking flowers, riding her scooter, horseback riding at McKenna, and anything with water!

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Photography by Niki Murphy

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Peyton

  • 7 Years Old

  • Cerebral Palsy, Hydrocephalus, Epilepsy

In 2015, Crystal gave birth to twins Peyton and Taylor at 26 weeks. Both only weighed a little over a pound a piece! Taylor had a brain bleed and Peyton suffered bilateral brain bleeds grade 3 and 4. After both came down with hydrocephalus, the girls got a VP shunt to help drain extra cerebrospinal fluid from the brain. All of this resulted in 3 months in the NICU! For the first year of their lives afterward, all seemed normal until they noticed Peyton was ignoring her right hand. They soon began early interventions and before long Peyton was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, affecting the right side of her body. She worked super hard in therapies and was able to take her first steps at 3 years old! Since then, Peyton began having seizures and now has the diagnosis of focal epilepsy as well.

Despite everything she has gone through, she is the sweetest, happiest girl!

Despite everything she has gone through, she is the sweetest, happiest girl! In June of 2022 she underwent a surgery called selective dorsal rhizotomy at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. This surgery was intended to relieve some of her symptoms of cerebral palsy and hopefully help her stay mobile and gain more skills. Peyton spent 30 days in the rehab facility at the hospital, working through intensive physical therapy. Even though this surgery requires a lot out of Peyton for the first year post-op, she has stayed so joyful and determined! Her hard work of relearning how to walk again paid off when she took her first independent steps again a week before Halloween. She attends intensive physical therapy 5 days a week and is making great strides towards a full recovery! She is truly my hero,” – Peyton’s mom, Crystal.

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Photography by Carrie Birchfield

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Ciaran & Geordan

  • 19 & 16 Years Old

  • Lebers Congenital Amaurosos, Severely Autistic, Immune System Disorder, Tic Disorder

Ciaran and Geordan were both born with major disabilities. 19 year old Ciaran is totally blind and significantly autistic. On top of that, he has a tic disorder (tourette syndrome) and an immune system disorder. He has no sense of safety and will wake up throughout the night and bang on walls, doors, windows, and even his bed – waking up his brother. 

Geordan is 16 and was also born blind. He was also diagnosed with pretty severe non-verbal autism. Geordan also has no concept of safety, making the level of care required for the two boys quite extensive. With their mom’s recent cancer diagnosis, both parents work tirelessly to care for the boys and give them the fullest life they can.

They are both passionate about music and have an acute sense of hearing for pitch and tone due to their blindness.

Ciaran and Geordan are highly anxious and noise sensitive, so therapy items like swings, trampolines and instruments are very calming to them. They are both passionate about music and have an acute sense of hearing for pitch and tone due to their blindness. Both boys are unique and talented in their own ways, something that is so evident in their passions and skills! The space that Sunshine on a Ranney Day is providing for them will be life-changing in regards to their independence and individual needs.

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Photography by Niki Murphy Photography

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