8-year-old Clearing girl battling leukemia gets 'Frozen'-themed bedroom makeover

Karen Jordan Image
Monday, February 26, 2024
8-year-old Chicago girl battling cancer gets 'Frozen' bedroom makeover
Special Spaces gave a "Frozen" movie-themed bedroom makeover to Paloma Saavedra, a Chicago girl battling leukemia, which is a blood cancer.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Inside a house in the Clearing neighborhood is a little bit of Arendelle.

Elsa is hand-painted on the walls of a bedroom as part of a "Frozen"-themed makeover.

It was a big surprise for a little girl who had no idea what was waiting on the other side of the door.

Paloma Saavedra, 8, was thrilled with the results.

"I love it!" she said.

Paloma's excitement brought tears to the eyes of her mother, Laura Gaytan.

"The joy that this brings to her and the fact that she continues to be an amazing little girl, considering everything she goes through on a daily basis," Gaytan said.

Paloma was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 6 years old. Over the past two years, her mom said, they've been through many ups and downs.

"We spent the first year of her treatment, a lot of months, pretty much one month in the hospital, one month at home," Gaytan said.

It was in the hospital when they were told about Special Spaces, a nonprofit organization that creates dream bedroom makeovers for children facing life-threatening illnesses.

"It means giving a family who's going through an extremely difficult time a ray of sunshine," said Elizabeth O'Hara with Special Spaces.

They took measurements of Paloma's room and consulted with her to find out how she wanted to design it. "Frozen" was the obvious choice.

"I watched it, like, more than 1,000 times," Paloma said.

And it wasn't just Paloma. Her younger brother, Emilio, also got a bedroom makeover.

Both projects were completed in just one day thanks to more than a dozen volunteers.

Their mom is grateful for this act of kindness.

"I just want her to be her, a kid the way she needs to be," Gaytan said.