Chicago 4-year-old with cancer surprised by Northwestern Mutual and Special Spaces with dream bedroom makeover

  • Michaela's first look at her new bedroom. Northwestern Mutual and Special Spaces teamed up to surprise her and her brothers with newly designed bedrooms to call their own.

    Michaela's first look at her new bedroom. Northwestern Mutual and Special Spaces teamed up to surprise her and her brothers with newly designed bedrooms to call their own. Courtesy of Special Spaces

 
 
Updated 9/23/2022 11:46 PM

In recognition of the 10-year anniversary of its Childhood Cancer Program, the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is partnering with Special Spaces to surprise 10 children affected by cancer with dream bedroom makeovers.

Four-year-old Michaela of Chicago was diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma, starting treatment in April 2022 and ringing the end of treatment bell on July 14. On Sept. 20, Northwestern Mutual and Special Spaces teamed up to surprise her and her brothers with newly designed bedrooms to call their own.

 

Dedicated volunteers from the company's Chicago, Skokie and Downers Grove-based financial offices worked tirelessly for two days to bring Michaela's vision to life and create a space for her to sleep, play, heal and spend time away from the challenges of her illness.

Inspired by Michaela's vision for a bedroom full of princesses, unicorns and glitter, the crew of volunteers worked together to paint the room, create custom decorations, and organize the space with new furniture to fit the theme. Michaela's brothers were also surprised with Chicago-themed and superhero-themed bedroom makeovers.

Throughout the fall, volunteers from Northwestern Mutual's local offices will surprise a child affected by cancer with a dream bedroom makeover in 10 cities across the country: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dubuque, Iowa, Buffalo, New York, Chicago, Illinois, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Indiana, St. Louis, Missouri, Omaha, Nebraska, Cleveland, Ohio, and Boca Raton, Florida.

Since 2012, Northwestern Mutual has been committed to accelerating the search for better treatments and cures for childhood cancer, while also supporting families undergoing treatment and survivors struggling with lasting effects. With the help of its dedicated employees and network of financial advisors, the company has contributed more than $45 million to the cause and has funded more than 520,000 hours of pediatric oncology research.