ANN ARBOR, Mich. (FOX 2) - As most 13-year-olds prepare to head back to school this year, Kennedy Evans was preparing for the fight of her life. She has sickle cell anemia and is waiting for her bone marrow transplant. Her mother is going to be her donor.
"She's very positive. She's a tough little so, whatever she has to take on, she just does it," her mother, Amika Witherspoon, says.
The long days and nights spent in the hospital can start to take a toll, especially on a teenager. That's where Wish Upon a Teen comes in.
Wish Upon a Teen's Design My Room Program helps lift the spirits of teens who are in the hospital long term. Volunteers come in and redesign the space to make things more comfortable for them.
Nancy Sovran is one of those people working the magic. Her own daughter had a bone marrow transplant when she was 15 years old. While her daughter was hospitalized, the same organization came in to give her room the facelift.
"It was the best thing ever, it was the best medicine," Nancy remembers. "They say joy is power for medicine, and that's for sure."
Nancy is now the executive director at Wish Upon a Teen. Thanks to partnerships with hospitals throughout the country, they're given access to the teen's hospital room and allowed to redecorate it.
"The main focus is the bed. Because, you know, when you don't feel good, what is the main thing that you want? Your mom and your bed," Nancy says.
We were invited to tag along as Nancy transformed Kennedy's room at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor.
We're happy to now report that Kennedy has had her bone marrow transplant now - which was successful. She'll still be in the hospital for a few more weeks, but at least now she has a space where she can relax and call her own. You can watch the big moment when Kennedy sees her new space in the video player above.
If you want to donate or sponsor a hospital room, visit www.withuponateen.org for more information.