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Making dream come true for 9-year-old Mahwah girl with genetic disorder

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Organizers of a surprise home makeover for a special Mahwah girl and her sister held their collective breaths after 9-year-old Mary Nelson underwent surgery to remove a tumor pressing on her optic nerve. Then came word from her mom.

Mary, Sophia, Kim Nelson

“You have to love a doctor that pulls you out of a hospital bed at 9:30 at night to look at pictures from an MRI,” Kim Nelson said. “The doctor was able to get all of the tumor, and the MRI shows that nothing was there.

“He even said some of the hole has begun to fill in.”

Mary woke up for a few minutes and gave a faint “yay.”

That was more than enough to boost the spirits of Bernadette Flaim and Susan Corbo (photo below), who are trying to gather enough volunteers in time to make the one-day makeover on March 24 a reality.

Flaim and Corbo, who own and operate Attention 2 Detail of Leonia, were asked to direct the project by Dream Room Makeovers, a non-profit organization dedicated to giving children who have life-challenging illnesses or disabilities the bedrooms of their dreams — and more. It’s like “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” with a heart-tugging twist.

“We are very honored to give of our time and talents to this worthy cause and most well-deserving family,” Flaim said. “The biggest challenge we face is our need to complete this makeover in only one day!”

Mary, who lives with her mother 8-year old sister, Sophia, has Neurofibromatosis, a genetic and progressive disorder that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue. She’s been undergoing chemotherapy for two years.

Although surgeons this week removed the tumor pressing on her optic nerve, Mary will never regain full sight.

But she and Sophia will be able to enjoy a magical retreat with a 70s theme.

First and foremost, though, DRM needs volunteers with experience in building houses, as well as those willing to help out.

The organization could also use materials, furniture, or other home improvement items  – and, of course, funds.

If you have basic carpentry skills, or can just follow directions and be of use, th
is is a wonderful opportunity to get out with a crew of people, show your creative side, work hard and accomplish a really good deed. If you can’t directly participate, consider a tax-deductible contribution to:

Dream Room Makeovers
c/o Attention2Detail
509 Pine Hill Road
Leonia, NJ  07605

The right team is running the show:

Flaim and Corbo have extensive experience and expertise in makeovers, space design and management in everything from corporate spaces to showrooms to home offices.

They’re proud of the ability to, as they say, up the “wow” factor and increase the value of homes on the market.

If Mary is going to say “Wow!” (or “Yay!”), the group needs to move fast.

Kim Nelson will keep her girls out, as planned, from 8 in the morning until 5 o’clock that night. When they eventually return, a magnificent surprise will be waiting.


Or call: (201) 618-0975


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