Brent’s Place Receives a Special Gift from Rocky Mountain Design Collective

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Example of a theater designed by Wynn Waggoner

Example of a theater designed by Wynn Waggoner

 Brent’s Place in Aurora, CO, is receiving a special gift that will allow kids that live there to experience what most every child has. A trip to the movies. Brent’s Place is a “Safe-Clean” environment kids and their families live at that’s close to the hospital while they receive life saving treatment. The Rocky Mountain Design Collective will display a home theater that will be donated to Brent’s Place at the Denver Home Show this coming Friday-Sunday.

Founder of RMDC and interior designer, Wynn Waggoner calls the theater, which is centered on the idea of nature, a fantasy space. “We wanted to come up with something that is about the most soothing place you can imagine,” explains Waggoner.  “I love creating an environment these kids can imagine because theaters are off limits for them.”

The theater has yet to be unveiled but the collaborative project includes work from an artist out of New York that painted nature themed canvases to surround the screen.

Catch Carri with Mara

Catch Carri with Mara

Kids like eight-year-old Mara and her family will now be able to experience a “night out” at the theatres. When Mara was born doctors told her parents she had less than a 1 percent chance of survival. With determined optimism her parents, Dawn and Rob Dawkins, refused the option of abortion laid out for them. “If she had a one percent chance we are going to give her that one percent,” said Dawn Dawkins.

At five years old, Mara was diagnosed with Hirschsprungs disease. A year later she was also diagnosed with a form of dwarfism called Cartilage Hair Hypoplasia, which causes abnormal immune system function. At the end of last year, her immunodeficiency became so severe she needed a Bone Marrow Transplant to save her life.

Anyone who meets Mara would agree with her mother that she is all sunshine and smiles. On the day I visited Mara she joked with Sean Meyerhoffer, the Executive Director of the Brent Eley Foundation, that it was time to paint his nails-pink! With the charm and wit Mara shines it’s easy to see that no guy would turn down that offer. “God has a plan for me, somedays I don’t like that plan, but I know I am where I need to be.”

Mara says part of her “plan” could be to become a nurse one day. “I want to help kids. If they were sick I would tell them it’s going to be ok like it was for me.”

Mara’s mom says Brent’s place has offered them a sense of normalcy and safety. “We can be a normal family here. It’s the small things you don’t think about like watching a movie together.” 

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  1. #1 by Jill on March 14, 2012 - 7:52 pm

    I want to work on my outdoor space…a basic patio right now, but with some sweat, rocks, wood, plants, and a water feature it could be a destination. 😀

  2. #2 by Dawn N Rob Dawkins on March 15, 2012 - 2:08 pm

    Thank you for a wonderful article about Mara and Brent’s place

    • #3 by catchcarri on March 15, 2012 - 3:20 pm

      You are so welcome Dawn. It will always be one of my favorite stories. Meeting Mara was incredible. I am excited to come back once the theater is up and hope to see you and Mara again.

  3. #4 by Jenny Adams on March 15, 2012 - 3:16 pm

    This is awesome for anyone who knows Mara to read! She brings so many people in her life so much joy! Sunshine and smiles is only the beginning!

    • #5 by catchcarri on March 15, 2012 - 3:44 pm

      I agree Jenny! She is a remarkable person with a bright outlook on life despite everything.

  4. #6 by sarah choomchaiyo on March 15, 2012 - 8:04 pm

    such a great story- sounds like a really neat place!

    my husband and i would love to finish our basement if we had the resources!

  5. #7 by theelectriccane on March 28, 2012 - 2:21 am

    Reblogged this on Theelectriccane's Blog and commented:
    Very cool!

  6. #8 by gjervis on April 4, 2012 - 9:33 pm

    Thanks for subscribing to my blog since it caused me to find your blog. I’ve been reading a number of your posts and have been enjoying them. I thnk my favorite is this story about Mara
    and the wonderful facility being built. It is a heartwarming and inspiring story. I am now following you!

  7. #9 by catchcarri on April 4, 2012 - 9:42 pm

    Thank you so much for stopping by! I lived in France and really enjoy the range of topics on your blog! It’s nice to reminisce. Look forward to more!

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