Providing Refuge: "My Happy Place" Renovates Bedrooms For Sick Kids

December 10, 2017 07:36 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Six-year-old Rayne Goins of Forest City has spent the past year making near-weekly trips to Mayo Clinic in Rochester for chemotherapy.

After having migraines for months, in January her doctor discovered a golf ball-sized mass on her brain, Rayne's mom Nicole said.


"I went blank, I can't remember what was going on," Nicole recalled of the minutes after that phone call.

Rayne had surgery to remove the benign tumor, but when it began slowly regrowing her family decided chemotherapy was the best option.

Now almost every Thursday night, the Goins family makes the 104-mile, one-way trip to Rochester for her weekly chemotherapy treatments.

After hearing her story, a group from Mason City decided to renovate Rayne's bedroom in her home so that when she returned from hours of poking and prodding and a 90-minute drive, she would have a place to relax and just be a kid.

"We've done a little over 40 rooms," Lisa Tan from My Happy Place Mason City said. The group works to create clean, relaxing retreats for sick kids across northern Iowa.

Each project costs around $2,000 and takes several weeks to design and put together, she said.

Sunday, Rayne and her family got to see the blue and pink, Princess-themed room for the first time.

Immediately, Rayne said her eyes were drawn to a star lamp on the opposite side of the room. Her favorite part? A dollhouse hanging on the wall displaying some of her My Little Ponies, she said.

Now Rayne has her own place to let her imagination roam and forget about her medical condition for a while. And even though the renovation was for Rayne, Tan said everyone involved receives some kind of benefits.

"You get the fulfillment of helping a sick child, and we truly believe at My Happy Place when you help that child and help in the healing progress you help the entire family," she said.

My Happy Place also recently expanded to Watertown, South Dakota, Tan said, and she's hoping affiliates will pop up in other areas, including southern Minnesota.

The Goins family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Rayne's out-of-pocket medical bills, which are approaching $45,000, her dad said. There is also an account at Bremer Bank in her name accepting donations.


Logan Reigstad

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