gmhTODAY 22 gmhToday Oct Nov 2018 - Page 15

Laura and David, Siena’s father, and younger brother, Dominic, 5, and half-sister Giordin, 25, monitored the remodel throughout the entire process. “When I saw the room I was in awe,” Laura said, adding, “I wish it was mine. She has the best room in the house, she deserves it.” Everyone agreed that the big reveal should be a big surprise for Siena, so she was restricted from her room during the remodel process. The end result is a room featuring remote lighting, hard wood floors, and a flexible floor plan to accommodate Siena’s changing needs. Furtado removed the closet doors and replaced them with easy access drapery fabric. A beauti- ful wildlife mural was painted on the inside of the closet, courtesy of Siena’s art teacher at Dabble Art Studio in Gilroy. Furtado added a spindle bed that provides extra grab support for Siena. A hanging swing was another addition to the room, as was a special wall designated for the nine-year- old’s artwork. “Turns out she’s an amazing artist so we made sure to incorporate that in the room as well,” Furtado said. “We painted some vintage frames black and framed all of her art work in a gallery work.” As much anticipation as there was leading up to the day of the big reveal, for Furtado there was also a great deal of concern. She feared Siena wouldn’t like the makeover. As it turns out there was no reason to worry. “Her reaction was priceless,” Furtado said. “She screamed and walked in and started walking in circles trying to take it all in. It was really a touching moment and worth all the time that I put in. Just seeing her face was priceless.” Seven months later Siena is still in love with her room. “I love the wallpaper, I love how it was from somewhere far away from here and painted by artists,” Siena said. “I love it a lot, and I love how Lisa decorated it.” Thanks to the creation by Furtado and a friend of, “A Room for Siena,” on the You Caring website, there was zero cost incurred by the Arioto’s for the remodel. The fundraising site raised $5000 of the $6500 project. The additional $1500 came from Furtado’s business. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Community members also helped out. Heather Pacheco, owner of Shag Beauty Salon, held a fundraiser to benefit Siena. But the most selfless donation came about from a fourth-grade Gilroy Prep classmate of Siena’s, nine-year- old Mireya Maquinalez. In February of this year Mireya celebrated her birthday with a party. What made this party so remarkable was the special request included in the invitations: “I don’t want presents for my birthday this year, I want money to help with Siena’s room.” Mireya’s reason behind the request, “She’s my best friend, so I wanted to.” Mireya’s mom, Michelle Maquinalez, wasn’t surprised by her daughter’ generosity. “That’s the way she is,” Michelle said. “She comes up with these things that you wouldn’t normally think a nine-year- old would come up with, and this was one of those things.” The invitations also included the You Caring website address, although many of the donations were hand delivered at the party. Mireya was happy to accept them. She also created a special donation box for Siena, which she presented to her at the party. Siena responded by giving her best friend a big hug. “I thought, wow, she’s a great friend,” Siena said, adding that ever since second grade Mireya has always been there for her. “It was really nice to have a friend that would always stand up for me and be by my side,” Siena said. With all that’s facing Siena in the future, having her own special retreat is a great comfort to her parents who will never forget the generosity provided by so many friends. A generosity that’s provided Siena a special sanctuary right in her own home. “She recently said that she hates that she has FA,” W&6B( 'WB6^( 2&VǒvFFW6R6Fw2F@&RVr&V6W6RbBBFN( 2RbFVFfP6RFvFvVFRW6R27&BW"'&FW"0rRBRvBFvWBv( Ф5D$U"dT$U"#vևFF6УP