White Oak charity makes dream come true for Monroeville girl
A Monroeville girl with brain cancer and dreams of becoming a musician received a special performance courtesy of a White Oak-based charity.
Jamie's Dream Team organized several businesses and volunteers to transform Jasmine McClintock-Boden's basement into a Dream Room complete with murals, family photos, furniture, Christmas decorations and a drum set.
“I love it,” Jasmine said. “I feel good.”
Jamie's Dream Team was founded by Jamie Holmes in 2005 and is dedicated to making dreams come true for the sick and injured.
Jasmine, 12, was diagnosed on April 26, 2011, with chordoma, a rare cancerous primary bone tumor that occurs along the spine or in the base of the skull. She has undergone three surgeries and has a metal plate in the back of her head.
Her mother Lisa McClintock said Jasmine was in Evergreen Elementary School when she was diagnosed.
“We've been through a long journey,” McClintock said during Monday's unveiling. “She was acting funny at the beginning of third grade and I kept taking her to the doctors. I finally found out it was a neurological (problem) because her tongue went to the side when she stuck it out for me. I said, ‘Please, you have to find something. Please just tell me what it is'.”
McClintock credited the work of Children's Hospital of UPMC with improving her daughter's health.
Jasmine is in sixth grade at Mosside Middle School.
“She's always wanted somewhere to let her friends come because she really hasn't been in school since she was in third-grade,” McClintock said. “She didn't bond like the kids do, and I'm so glad because now she has a place to invite the kids and have fun.”
McClintock met Holmes at a benefit for Jasmine and another student from Gateway School District at Max & Erma's earlier this year.
“Thank you isn't enough,” McClintock said holding back tears. “Look at it. Jamie's Dream Team is like a dream me and Jasmine had for a long time ... I hope I can help them. I couldn't do anything like this.”
“To see Jasmine and her mom and her dad finally see the room after it was all done was absolutely amazing,” Holmes said.
Three Rivers Remodeling in Oakmont and NK Roofing & Construction Co. in Verona handled a bulk of the job with construction, drywall, carpeting, electrical work and other contributions.
“I think they're pretty awesome doing this,” said Jasmine.
They were assisted by retired sheet metal worker Frank Woller of Local Union 12 in Harmarville.
“It's fantastic,” said Woller. “It really came out good.”
Amanda Venglish of Three Rivers Remodeling said she got involved with the project to help someone similar to her son Caden Smith, 5, who was diagnosed with epilepsy and a noncancerous cyst on his brain last year.
“It meant a lot to me,” Venglish said. “We were the lucky ones so we wanted to give back to the ones that weren't. She deserves it. She's been through a lot. We didn't have to go through what (Jasmine's) family had to go through. (Caden's) stable and didn't have to have surgeries.”
Unique Auto Finishing in Munhall installed a graphic based on “Twilight,” Jasmine's favorite movie.
Other contributors to the Dream Room and its unveiling include Levin Furniture, Home Depot in North Versailles Township and Monroeville, H.H. Gregg, McGinnis Sisters, Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, and Oakmont Bakery.
An associate from Home Depot in North Versailles hand-painted a mural on the back wall.
“To see all the volunteers and the help that came in and jumped aboard, the smiles on their faces were absolutely priceless,” Holmes said.
“We work for a company that their values (are) giving back to the community and taking care of others,” said Fred DeRubeis, general manager of the North Versailles Home Depot. “They have us do this at all levels. We continuously look for projects and things that we're about to do. The company supports us 100 percent in this.”
More information about Jamie's Dream Team is available at www.jamiesdreamteam.myfastsite.net. Monetary donations to Jamie's Dream Team can be sent to 2023 Cypress Drive, White Oak, 15131.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.