A castle built for a princess: Special Spaces Buffalo renovates room for girl with heart condition


NIAGARA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A little girl in the Town of Niagara is sleeping in a new, princess-themed room, thanks to a room makeover from Special Spaces Buffalo. The organization gives back to kids who are fighting some tough battles. 

Around 8 a.m. on Friday, Amarah Jeckovich left her room and went on an all-paid day of fun. She went to breakfast; the Explore and More Children’s Museum; went to see Frozen 2; and ate dinner. And while she was away, Special Spaces was back at her house working hard. 

“Generally when we do a makeover we have about anywhere between 15 to 18 people, to help,” Lynn Wall said, the director of Special Spaces Buffalo.

And bippity boppity boo, nine hours later, the Jeckovich family walked into a room that took their breath away. 

“Thank you, thank you!” Amarah said as she walked in. 

The room came with a handmade, one-of-a-kind bunk bed; a dress and tutu from Disneyworld; a new princess dresser and more. 

“It’s just so beautiful,” Amarah said. 

A local artist also created a large castle mural free-of-charge. 

“It’s amazing to know that there’s something of me right there that I did that they really like and think it’s awesome,” Gwen Phillips said. 

Amarah was born with a heart syndrome that kept her in the hospital for six months after birth, and has forced the 5-year-old to have multiple surgeries in her short life. 

“She has hypo-plastic left heart syndrome, which means pretty much she has half a heart,” Rachel Jeckovich said, her mother. “There’s four chambers, she only has two.”

Her mother said many days are tough for her daughter. The family has to constantly beware of germs because it’s tough for Amarah to fight off illnesses. Amarah has many more doctor appointments ahead and another big surgery coming up, but now, at the end of a tough day, there’s a place where she can go to smile. It’s a place where she can forget about reality, to dream and to transform into a princess. 

“(It’s) very overwhelming,” Rachel said. “It’s just a lot because I want her to experience as much as possible because we really don’t know what the future holds for her.”

Each Special Spaces Buffalo room costs about $3,000 to complete. M&T sponsored Amarah’s room. For more information on the organization, click here.

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