Over the past few months i’ve been working with the Roc Solid Foundation creating the platform/game plan for a new program that would actually allow Roc Solid to build hope for ALL juvenile cancer patients.  In addition to building playgrounds, we wanted to venture outside of the box to include older patients.  The plan was to create an indoor space where they could hang out, forget the daily stresses of their disease, and just be young.  These rooms would be inspiring and would encourage the kids to be able to look past their illness and to start planning their future.  We came up with the whole program plan and decided to launch it in September with kick-off parties and fundraisers….and then in mid July, Jojo came along.


In order to accurately tell Jojo’s horrific medical history, you should visit her page.  All you really need to know is that she has overcome way too many obstacles in life for her young age and deals with medical problems daily.  The most recent of which was the cancer they found in her eye after emergency brain surgery…the cancer is what brought Roc Solid to her, the Spina Bifida and brittle bones are what brought her to me.  Jojo was actually chosen by CHKD to receive a playground, but because of the braces she wears on her legs, her brittle bones, and her older age, we thought she would be the perfect girl to receive the first “remodel” {we are still trying to come up with an official name for this program…}.  We went to meet Jojo and her mom Lorie and asked Jojo to step out of the room so we could pitch the idea to Lorie.  She thought it was a great idea because Jojo didn’t actually sleep in her room because the bed was so uncomfortable and she had so many toys.  Instead of telling her what we were doing, we decided to make it a surprise for Jojo!!  Here’s Jojo, her mom, and her two sisters.


Here’s some pictures of what her room looked like before…and to Lorie’s credit, they had NO idea that I was going to waltz up to her room and start snapping pictures ;)

When I first met with Jojo, she told me that she loved the color pink, barbies, sparkles, disney princesses, and that she was super girly {<– insert squeals of delight from me}.  While I wanted her to have a fun room that she would instantly fall in love with, I also wanted to give her something that she could grow into and that she wouldn’t get tired of in a few months.  I created this model to show Lorie {so she would allow us into her home} and all of the workers {so that they would know what sort of end product they were working towards}.

We showed up Friday morning for our mere TWENTY EIGHT HOUR BUILD and immediately began our first project, which was the demolition of her closet.  The original closet door was only 24″ wide, but the actual closet was 6.5′ wide, so we opened the closet up to 4′ to make it more accessible.  After the door problem was solved, we continued with the wallpaper installation.  Looking back, that was the only major problem with this entire project…and we got through it seamlessly.  Our original wallpaper guy didn’t show up, so it sent us scrambling to find another person who was available THAT DAY to come and do the install.  Thankfully, Craig from Unique Interior Design left his job to come help us out for an hour.  The actual paper was something that I ordered online and prayed to God that it would look like it did in the pictures…and score, it did!!  Immediately after the wallpaper was installed, we had Eddie the electrician come in to hang the chandelier (she had no overhead light previously) and create an outlet and cable run for the wall mounted flat screen.

The built-ins were a main factor in the room’s design.  Because it was such a small room, we wanted to maximize the storage space and utilize all of the wall space we could.  Karen from the Closet Factory talked her boss into donating the entire custom designed closet build-out and shelves beside the bed.  Once they were installed, I breathed a little sigh of relief because I knew that no matter how screwed up my design could have turned out, at least the closet looked amazing ;)

After Closet Factory was done, we had 40-50 teenage girls {volunteers also known as Rainbow Girls} show up to help out.  {SN-I later found out that my own mother was a Rainbow Girl too!}  We came up with projects for them to do that mainly involved painting trim outside but then the rain came pouring down making it impossible to paint unless we were under the tent {again, a lot of girls–2 tents…}.  Because Jojo’s bedroom was so small, we ended up also painting the upstairs hallway and the downstairs entry wall in order to give people work to do.  The girls were troopers in dealing with the weather that caused our lack of projects!

Eventually the pizza arrived and the volunteer work came to an end, but not before we gathered everyone together and had them SCREAM as loudly as possible for Jojo.  It was the scream heard around the world…as you can see, after said scream, Eric decided he needed a break ;)

Once the Rainbow girls left, the Roc Solid crew started working.  They got the ceiling, walls, and trim painted, created the louon chalkboards and then framed them all out, and put up crown moulding.  The chalkboard detail and how we decided to handle it was one of my favorites.  Typically, Roc Solid has all of the volunteers sign the playground for the child.  I obviously wouldn’t allow wall signing, so I came to Roc Solid’s Program Coordinator, Cara Cauldwell, for help.  She makes these amazing paper chandeliers and garlands, so I asked her if she could make heart garlands so we could have each volunteer sign something for Jojo.  We hung them over the chalkboards for the reveal, creating a super cute display.

Another one of my favorite projects was the Disney princess wall.  Remember when I said I wanted something timeless that she would love forever?  Well instead of just framing pictures of the princesses, I used the silhouettes of Jojo’s favorite princesses–Belle, Cinderella, and my favorite, Ariel.  I bought the frames at TJ Maxx, the velvet flocked scrapbook paper at Micheals, and had Annie {Eric’s gorgeous wife} cut out the silhouettes that I actually had to hand draw {printer failure x 3}.  Aren’t they the classiest little pieces of art?!

The chandelier was a super find…I looked for weeks for the perfect chandelier and finally found one at a particular Lowes {nowhere near my house} that I went into on a whim.  It happened to be the last one and on clearance for $25.  SCORE.  Since I saved so much money on the chandelier, I also decided to get a medallion with the same type of scrollwork as the chandelier.  To make the ceiling pop a little bit more and to anchor the chandelier, I painted {3 coats..} of pink glitter on the scrolls.

Here’s another shot of the chandelier and a detail shot of the vanity.

On Saturday, the day of the reveal, the girls showed up and began landscaping, decorating signs, and getting ready for the cookout.  I brought all the furniture and accessories in, organized her new closet (including all of the new swag I bought…} and got the room ready. Here are some pictures of the finished room.

Around 12, the family showed up in a limo {after a hotel stay, breakfast, manicures and makeovers!!} and my heart started jumping out of my chest…all I could think of was “what if she hates it!?”  They got out of the limo, showed off their spectacular nails, and then we walked Jojo upstairs and told her that we had a surprise…she wasn’t actually getting a playground.  When Eric stepped aside and let her into her room, her hand went straight to her mouth, she looked around, and then ran straight to her bed and jumped on it.  Then she started seeing all the little details and walked around the room taking it all in {hand still over her mouth} until she saw the vanity.  She sat down on the ottoman and I opened the vanity portion to show her what it was.  Then she kept saying I think i’m going to cry {she even shed a freakin tear!!!!}.  Seriously. Made. My. Life.  Next, we walked over and opened up the bedroom window where about 60 people were waiting downstairs with signs.  They screamed “We love you Jojo.”  The whole reveal was so cool.  Jojo was ecstatic, her mom and the other family members were crying, the whole thing was super emotional.  That was the hardest i’ve ever struggled to keep it together in my life…and one of the most rewarding experiences.

Me showing her the new clothes that I had WAY too much fun shopping for.

Finally, here’s a picture of me and Jojo.  I’m so honored to have been a part of this and hope that we’ve made this special girl’s life a little bit happier.

If you’re not already a fan, please “like” our facebook page!!

Donors and important links:

We Promise Foundation

Lauren and the rest of the Rainbow Girls

Closet Factory: Karen Robinson {independent sales}

Sleepy’s: Mattress

Electrician: Eddie from Kuhlman Electric

Wallpaper: Craig from Unique Interior Design, Inc

Donate to the Roc Solid Foundation:

Donate to Jojo: