PIQUA — There’s no feeling like seeing a child’s wish come true, especially when it’s a child who has been fighting cancer.
Thanks to funding from A Special Wish Foundation, the Dayton chapter, eight-year-old Shelby Lockhart’s wish for a new makeover for her bedroom came to life several weeks ago — pink walls, zebra print, and all.
Shelby, who lives in Piqua, has been battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), a cancer of the blood, for over a year. Her bedroom is more than just a place to sleep and play, but also where she spends most of her time recovering from cancer treatments.
“It’s been very hard for a year,” said Shelby’s mother, Tina Walker. “She’s been through a lot and deserves it all.”
Walker said there were a lot of setbacks, with Shelby having treatments one to two days a week. Thankfully, she now only has treatments once a month.
The family heard of A Special Wish six to eight months ago and went through the process of filling out paperwork and approvals for Shelby’s wish.
Serena Walther, wish manager at the Dayton chapter, heard of Shelby’s story and wish and made arrangements to make the girl’s dream a reality. With help from Piqua businesses Town and Country Furniture, Sherwin Williams, and a local painter, Jerry Sullenberger, Shelby now has a bedroom she hardly ever wants to leave.
When Shelby first saw her room, tears streamed down her face.
“She was excited. She cried when we opened her door,” Walker said. “We asked her, ‘Did you not like it? This is what you picked it out,’ but she was just happy.”
“Seeing what it meant to Shelby was very gratifying,” Sullenberger said. “Thank you (to A Special Wish) for allowing me to be a part of the process.”
Shelby’s room prior to the renovation was described as a room with brown and purple colors, with one side of her bedroom wall unfinished, and it had unpleasant carpet. Now she has a hardwood floor with a black rug, pink walls, and her room is accented with zebra print.
On Saturday, Shelby and her parents, Walker and Christopher Lockhart, were sorting through Shelby’s things to put back into her new and improved room. Shelby was excited to show off her room.
“It feels good,” Shelby said of her domain. “It’s pretty.” She also said that there was nothing that she didn’t like about her room.
Shelby is in the third grade at Washington Primary and is the youngest in her family, which includes siblings Christopher, Aaron, Heidi, Rachel, and Jo-Jo.
As Dayton’s only local wish-granting organization, ASW has granted over 1,600 wishes to local children since 1983. Serving children birth through age 20 who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening disorder, ASW operates in Montgomery, Miami, Darke, Greene, Mercer and Shelby counties.
To learn more about the Dayton Chapter of A Special Wish, visit www.aspecialwish.org.
Reach reporter Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.