This Pay It Forward goes to the non-profit “My Happy Place.” Its design teams create personalized, bedroom remodels for cancer patients. We followed one design team from start to finish as they did a bedroom makeover for Jenny Carroll, a cancer patient from Boise.
BOISE, Idaho (CBS 2) — Interior designer Natalie Miller greeted Jenny as she saw the new bedroom for the first time on November 1, 2023. “I had so much fun doing this!”
Jenny was in tears, “it’s beautiful! Oh, I love it.”
The bedroom is now Jenny’s refuge from her battle with metastatic colon cancer.
The project began on October 5, when the design team met Jenny for the first time.
As they pulled out measuring tape in her bedroom, they talked about what matters most to her: Family. Her dogs.
And they marveled at her impressive collection of hats and wigs. “I’ve always been known for my hair. And it was very traumatizing losing it. So, I decided to have fun with it.,” Jenny explained.
Jenny was also open about her decade-long battle with colon cancer. She described how she beat it once, only to have it return a few years later with a vengeance. Stage four. Terminal.
Yet she fights on. “I’ve been doing chemo every other Wednesday since then”
Sara Adams, the president of the Treasure Valley chapter of My Happy Place, directs the team working on Jenny’s bedroom makeover. “Every one of these stories brings tears to our eyes. She feels so lucky that she’s getting a new bedroom. We feel so lucky that we may be able to touch her life a little bit.”
From that first visit, the team forms a plan, and then they go to work.
On October 15, we met with the finish carpenter, Glen Peterson who is working on what will be the centerpiece of the new bedroom. And it’s so much more than just a queen-sized bed.
“We’re building it more as a furniture piece, so it comes apart into sections.” This bed will incorporate storage for her shoes. Jenny was once a distance runner. There will also be space underneath for her bigger dogs (she has eight!) and even a ramp for Cooper – her French Bulldog.
While Glen worked on the bed, other team members went shopping. And Angela Phillips, Mountain America Credit Union, had a $500 Pay It Forward to help with that shopping.
“I heard you got a special shopping trip planned today. And we figured you could use a little more cash,” Angela said as she handed over the envelope with the cash to Sara. “This will cover it! Her bed linens, her pillows, her throws, all the special little features that we put in. This will cover it!”
By the end of October, the elements of the remodel were ready to go.
Over 48 hours, the team put together the bedroom. It started with fresh coats of paint. White for the walls. A sky blue for the ceiling. When the paint was dry, the bed was brought in. It was a tight fit up the stairwell of Jenny’s home, but that’s why the bed was made in five sections.
Once it was assembled, the design team added the finishing touches. Interior Designer Natalie Miller explained the final touch, “We always put a little tray on the bed that has teas and mugs and a candle.”
On November 2, Jenny got to see her remodeled bedroom. “I loved it the second I saw it… Thank you to everybody who made it possible.”
All the hard work of the volunteers was repaid by Jenny’s smile.
Afterward, Sara told us, “My heart is full. We made Jenny’s dream come true for that special, special room.”
They created a sanctuary for her as she continued to battle for her life.
Editor’s Note: This will be my last Pay It Forward. I am retiring from KBOI at the end of the month. Leaving will not be easy. I will miss my colleagues. I miss these stories. Over the last nine years, I’ve met so many everyday heroes who are quietly changing our community for the better. They love their neighbors. And they show it with their kind deeds. It has been my distinct honor to meet them and tell their stories. – Brent Hunsaker