Suite Dreams Project - Deven

Posted by Ben Thompson on 01.21.10

Hello Friends and Family,

I hope this finds you all happy, healthy and enjoying 2010! I am writing this letter because I am involved in a wonderful project that I wanted to share with you. Recently, I was fortunate enough to link up with the Detroit-based organization “Suite Dreams Project.” It is dedicated to giving room makeovers to chronically and/or terminally ill children. These children spend the vast majority of their time in their bedrooms because they are too ill to be in school, let alone playing outside. Their room not only becomes their refuge, but is also a big aspect of their healing environment.

Through Suite Dreams, I was put in touch with Deven’s family. Deven is a five year old boy who suffers from chronic lung disease, leukemia, and AVN. AVN is the result of too much chemotherapy, and his case is so severe that it is being studied internationally. It causes extreme chronic pain, whole body necrosis, and his weakened bones frequently break. Currently both of his legs are broken, one has been in a cast for the last 8 months, and he spends much of his time in a wheelchair. He has also had bleeding on the brain, severe spinal pain that keeps him from sleeping, and numerous other side effects. He was diagnosed at age 3, so he has spent his entire memorable little life in pain. He isn’t always able to walk on his own or climb the stairs, thus is confined to his room for large period of his time.

After meeting with Deven’s mother I was so moved by the way their entire world has been turned upside from Deven’s illness. But through it all, one of the things I heard from her over and over again was how hard it is to be on the receiving side when they have spent their lives trying to give to others.

Ben and I have committed to not only remodel and re-furnish Deven and his twin brother’s shared room, but also do as many other improvements in their house as possible to make life easier for this family. This includes installing wood or laminate floors so that he can better use his wheelchair in the house, as well painting and some other projects in the house. I know economic times have been tough for many, but this too has been a family that has been affected hard. They were forced to go down to one income, and his father’s job has been changed to a shift so he cannot spend as much time with his family.

This is a family that has known more heartache in these last few years than hopefully none of us will ever have to deal with. Our hearts have been opened to helping this family as much as we can, and if you feel lead to give financially, we would be so grateful to have your support. Even if you feel like you can’t give much, every little bit helps. If we are fortunate enough to raise more than enough funds for this project, it will be applied to help the next Suite Dreams project we are committed to work on.

Also, if you are not able to give financially but are in the Grand Rapids area and would like to give your time, please let me know that was well. We will be hopefully completing this project during the weekend of February 19th. We could use any help with moving furniture, painting, installing carpet, wood floors, etc. Thank you so much for your thoughts over this matter, actions taken to partner with us, and please continue to keep this family in your prayers.

For more information on this organization, please check out their website: Any contribution is tax deductible and can be made out to the below mailing address, please put my name in the Memo so that gifts can be donated specifically to this project. Or, follow the above link on their website, go to the “Giving” section, and you can donate through PayPal.

Suite Dreams Project

400 Water Street, Suite 250

Rochester, MI 48307


Kristin & Ben Thompson

Topics: Events, painting, deven, kristin, leukemia, suite dream, terminally ill