Britticares transition Eddy’s dream into a reality by offering an Imagine Me bedroom makeover. Eddy was greeted by Chris Tucker, and the Los Angeles Lakers including Kobe Bryant and the rest. Video by The Big J Company & Poetry Hartman for Britticares. BCI needs your donations, products or services to help support this program. For more information, visit http://www.britticares.org
After a long battle with lymphoma and leukemia, 15 year old Eddy Valenzuela’s battle ends on February 12. Each holiday season BrittiCares adopts several patients and their families by showering them with gifts on their wish list. BrittiCares was honored to meet Eddy during the 2009 Holiday season, as he was one of the families they were matched up with. They first met Eddy at the Hollywood Ronald McDonald House where him and his family sometime stayed between his treatments for lymphoma, received at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
BrittiCares Founders Jamie and Shirell Henderson along with their young son Jaylen dropped off the presents and visited for a few hours with Eddy and his family, while Jaylen and Eddy bonded and played ball in the lobby, enjoying each others company.
After the holiday season, BrittiCares would occasionally visit Eddy in the hospital just to check on him and surprise him with additional gifts. Approximately one month went by and BrittiCares received a phone call from Eddy’s social worker that his condition had unfortunately turned for the worse, and that he was battling not one, but two cancers, lymphoma and now AML leukemia as well and that his prognosis was not good. The social worker expressed how much it would mean for Eddy to receive a Bedroom Makeover. Eddy spent so much time in the hospital, that he never had a room to call his own in the comfort of his own home. BrittiCares agreed to sponsor an ‘Imagine Me’ Bedroom Makeover for Eddy, and started two days after receiving the phone call, as they new Eddy would be returning home from the hospital soon, and wanted him to walk into a room of his dreams.
Eddy’s was an amazing soccer player, so, BrittiCares decided to add a special soccer touch to the space, including; new paint, a turf rug mimicking a soccer field, a new bed, bedding, pillows, window treatments, ceiling fan, art work, soccer mural, flat screen TV, media cabinet, reclining couch bed, (for Eddy’s mom to sleep in while staying close to check on him as needed) a reconstructed closet and new locker closet doors.
Several people pitched in to help make Eddy’s dream come true including; contractors, electricians, volunteers, family members and friends. The first day was bitter sweat for BrittiCares Founders Jamie and Shirell, because, that particular day was the 3rd year anniversary of losing their young daughter Brittiana to leukemia. They said the day was emotional however, it was special because, it meant a lot for them to celebrate such a special day doing what Britt would have wanted them to do, and that is to make life changing differences in the lives of kids battling cancer.
Day three- the room is now complete and Eddy is on his way home from the hospital. There was not only a room makeover dream come true for Eddy. BrittiCares reached out to Eddy a few days back and asked him what were some other dreams and wishes on his list. He said he had never been to a professional basketball game and that he really wanted to meet Kobe Bryant. Well, Eddy received that and more. He came home to his room reveal, welcomed by BrittiCares, volunteers, family members and friends and not to mention a surprise visit by one of his favorite actors/comedians Chris Tucker, who wanted to help Eddy’s dreams come true. Eddy was so surprised and thankful and said “It is the room I dreamed of”. After the room reveal, Eddy was surprised with tickets to the Lakers Game, front row section, and needless to say, he was able to meet his favorite sports icon Kobe Bryant, along with other players. Kobe hugged Eddy and told him everything was OK, while tears were streaming down from Eddy’s face because he was so happy to be there. Eddy said “Kobe and the team was awesome and made him feel like the luckiest kid ever”. Eddy had an amazing night, however, toward the end of the evening he was beginning to have unbearable pain. The crew takes Eddy home, as he said he couldn’t wait go home and enjoy his new space and let the entire evening sink in.
Throughout the following week, BrittiCares visited Eddy, offering prayer, checking on and comforting his family whom they adored. Unfortunately, as the days went by, Eddy’s condition got even worse. Early Friday morning February 12, BrittiCares received that dreadful phone call from Eddy’s mom that he had just passed away. That was devastating news to everyone.