The room is beach-themed with peach-colored partitions and blue and tan throw pillows — “Life is better at the beach,” one says — and it’s ready for her.
For 13 years, Hannah Viens has shared a room with her three sisters in the completed basement of her family’s Kansas City, Kan., home. Her older sisters are night time owls — Hannah likes to rise early and learn her Bible. And when her chemotherapy remedies made her weak or sick, the stairs have been difficult.
Today — Christmas Eve — that ends. But Hannah doesn’t realize it but. Moving to the greater home that her mother and father, Jim and Kim Viens, purchased earlier this yr wasn’t alleged to occur till later in the winter, when family good friend and Master’s Community Church pastor Adam Anderson anticipated to complete the transforming he had agreed to do for the family.
But for the previous month, the Elves of Christmas Present have volunteered numerous hours ending the home for the Viens family to take pleasure in. On this Christmas Eve, whereas Hannah, her mother and father and her siblings Elizabeth, 19, Faith, 17, Rebecca, 16, Isaiah, 12, and Matthias, three, take pleasure in a limo journey to the Country Club Plaza and a dinner at the Capitol Grille, a workforce of elves arrives at their previous home to maneuver furnishings and belongings to the newly completed one.
Only father Jim, a techniques engineer at Cerner Corp., is aware of what’s in retailer. It’s been robust to maintain this a secret, notably from his spouse, who has needed to go to the home to make adorning selections, and his fourth-born daughter, who will want more room and help as she continues remedy for medulloblastoma, a kind of mind most cancers.
Just in time for Christmas, Hannah could have a bed room on the principal degree, a toilet proper throughout the corridor and a window overlooking the yard — a spot for a woman who loves arts and crafts, crocheting and coloring books to name her own.
They found the most cancers as a result of of the trampoline.
At age 10, Hannah started to endure bouts of nausea and the occasional headache. But it wasn’t till she grew violently sick after just some jumps on the family trampoline that it turned clear one thing was critically fallacious. At the hospital, docs needed to maintain her as much as stroll to the rest room.
An emergency scan revealed a tumor at the base of her mind — medulloblastoma. Surgeons eliminated the tumor, and Hannah spent the subsequent yr and a half receiving radiation and chemotherapy remedies.
Jim Viens remembers the day he was outdoors in the yard shortly after Hannah’s first surgical procedure. The Viens had left a child monitor beside her mattress in case she wanted to name for assist as she recovered.
Instead they heard Hannah quietly praying for all of the different youngsters she had met at the hospital.
“It was such an insight into her,” Jim Viens stated.
After remedy, follow-up scans got here again clear, however in May, Hannah had a recurrence and docs don’t know if remedy will once more achieve success.
In some ways, Jim Viens says, his daughter understands that her angle can affect her end result. And that she should belief that God has a plan for her.
“She knows everything is determined by God already,” her father stated. “She has confidence that she will be in a place that has no cancer.”
And so Hannah continues with her routine as greatest as she will. She performs with the Rainbow Loom she acquired for Christmas final yr. She reads her Bible and chats with her family at time for supper. She enjoys the good occasions, like when the Make-a-Wish Foundation despatched her family to Hawaii final yr so she might attend browsing star Bethany Hamilton’s camp.
“Everything about this has added a weightiness to her personality,” Adam Anderson stated. “Here she is dealing with a life and death situation, and she is becoming a very mature well-grounded young lady.”
An exquisite reveal
It was a Children’s Mercy Hospital social employee who alerted Chief Elf to the Viens family. Chief Elf, who by no means reveals his true identify, leads the Elves of Christmas Present community of volunteers who quietly give time and cash annually to grant Christmas needs to Kansas City space households.
Anderson says he acquired a name from Chief Elf shortly after Thanksgiving. He needed to get the family into their home by Christmas.
“I thought he was out of his mind,” Anderson laughed. Instead, Anderson discovered himself with groups of plumbers, carpenters, electricians and development staff who labored on the home via final week to make it prepared by Christmas Eve. Among them: a lighting crew that decked the entire home out in colourful bulbs.
Those lights have been the very first thing the Viens family noticed once they pulled as much as their new home after a big day.
A couple of minutes earlier than, Chief Elf had stated, “Time to roll.” The elves scattered as shortly as that they had arrived.
The family arrived subsequent. The youngsters noticed the decked-out tree with dozens of presents in the nook. The giant kitchen. Kim Viens wept with pleasure.
Hannah appeared round thoughtfully, clasped her arms and went straight to her room.
She had a brand new full-size mattress with tons of pillows to remind her of Hawaii. She sprawled throughout the mattress and took off her purse and her hat. She smiled.
A bed room of her own, a toilet proper throughout the corridor, a window overlooking the yard — a spot for a woman to name her own.
Just in time for Christmas.