Saturday, Oct 22, 2016
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Charity makes over Waterville teen's bedroom


Brittany Kookoothe, 13, born with Down Syndrome and who has spent the last 2.5 years in treatment for leukemia, left, and her mom, Marlene Neyhart, show off Brittany's remodeled bedroom in Waterville. Brittany's parents contacted Jamie's Dream Team in early August with the request of the bedroom makeover for their daughter.

The Blade/Jetta Fraser
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The recent remodeling of one Waterville teenager’s bedroom was a makeover worthy of a television reality show.

Brittany Kookoothe, 13, slept in her new bedroom last night with her beloved Justin Bieber poster watching her from the wall.

The brightly painted blue walls, the wooden floor, the white bedroom set, and flat screen television were a reward for the seventh-grader who has dealt with medical problems her entire life.

Brittany, who has Down syndrome, was diagnosed with leukemia a day before 10th birthday.

Her family joked the Anthony Wayne seventh-grader isn’t likely to leave her haven any time soon. She’ll spend most of her time watching television or listening to music, "just like any teenager," said Brittany’s mother, Marlene Neyhart, a registered nurse.

The $2,500 bedroom makeover was paid for with donations raised by Jamie’s Dream Team. The dream team is an organization similar to the Make-A-Wish Foundation that Jamie Holmes, 25, started in White Oak, Penn.

The family of McKenna May, a four-year-old cancer survivor, also pitched in and donated $2,000 through Jamie’s Dream Team to help Brittany, said Lori Helppie, who is McKenna grandmother.

They received about $23,000 in donations after they captured national media attention when McKenna’s Make-A-Wish trip to Walt Disney World was canceled because her father would not allow her to go.

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