MT. JOY, Pa. (WHTM) – Volunteers spent hours Tuesday crafting a surprise makeover for an 8-year-old fighting a disease no kid should have to face.
His parents call him a superhero, and now his bedroom now reflects that.
This is not your average home improvement project. Amani Velma is not your average contractor.
“I got to like be crafty,” she said, “which I never get to do because we live in hotels, so when am I going to refinish a dresser?”
Velma plays Storm of X-Men fame in the show “Marvel Universe Live,” playing this weekend in Hershey.
But before then, she helped turn a Marietta, Lancaster County kid’s room into superhero central.
“We’re just kind of finishing it up,” she said. “Kind of bringing in all the fun stuff.”
The room is decked out. A life-size decal featuring Iron Man and Captain America is plastered on one wall. On other walls, 3-D masks from Iron Man and Spider-Man jut from the drywall, eyes glowing. Thor’s hammer and the Hulk’s fist also stick out.
A Spider-Man carpet and drapes accent the room, and the bed is covered in a Marvel bedspread and several stuffed Marvel figures.
Everywhere you look, a superhero looks back.
“We’re on tour, so we don’t get to do the holidays with our families,” Velma said. “So it’s kind of really special to have the opportunity to do something special for another family.”
It took all day. It was worth it.
“I haven’t even met them yet, so I’m, like, freaking out over getting to meet them,” Velma said.
Elliot Ross freaked out a little, too.
On seeing his new bedroom for the first time, a smile grew across his face that didn’t recede. He jumped up and down at the sight of his bed, and ran from corner to corner, delighting in each new discovery.
“It is just amazing,” his mom, Amy, said tearfully next to Eric, Elliot’s dad. “There’s no words that I can even say. He’s the one that’s the hero.”
The Marvel show teamed up with Special Spaces, a group that dedicates itself to these kinds of bedroom makeovers for kids fighting life-threatening illnesses.
Elliot has been battling leukemia since he was diagnosed in April at age 7. He’s fought through several chemo treatments a week.
“It just never really stops him,” Amy said. “He just keeps going and going.”
He’s a marvel in his own right. And like a superhero should, Elliot has his fortress.
“It’s somebody like him, who’s so strong, just goes through everything that this poor child has gone through in life, and just to be rewarded by something he just truly loves,” Amy said.
Elliot’s parents said doctors found the disease very early after he complained of leg pain. The treatments over the last seven months have gone well, and his prognosis is good.