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MASON CITY, IA – For the Tickal family, it’s been a weekend of surprises, but nothing compared to this.
It’s more than what they could ever have hoped for, a new room for nine-year-old Bailey Tickal, who’s in the middle of a long wait for a kidney donor.
When organizers with “My Happy Place” finally unveiled the big makeover, it turned out to be an overwhelming experience that brought the Mason City community much closer.
“She truly was happy, and my tears were happy tears, I’m sure their on their somewhere,” said Heather Tickal, Bailey’s mother.
For Bailey and her family, it’s an opportunity to spend at least one day away from the illness that surrounds their lives on a daily basis, something community volunteers know is important.
“I didn’t even know Bailey before we started coming here to volunteer our time and our garages and our energy and our talents and now I do. We want to be able to know that people deserve to be loved unconditionally. Regardless of their station in life, be it from the little girl who’s suffering from kidney failure to anybody in life,” said Adam Hines, EPIC Volunteer.
Groups like faith-based EPIC teamed up with the My Happy Place organization as a way to help make the room a reality, one aspect of what they say was a complete group effort.
“Our group is focused on serving people with love of Jesus Christ. That’s the message of our group and so we do that as a way to serve as an example for other people. In the process, we would love to have people come join us, but we want people to join the communities that believe and are active in each other’s lives,” said Hines.
“It took a community to do this and I hope the community continues to help other children, because I know there are other children just as deserving as Bailey is,” said Heather.
Since this is only the first stop for the My Happy Place organization, Heather has a word of advice for anyone thinking of applying.
“Enjoy the time and the community, and what it does for your child. It’s all worth it. When you see their face, it makes it all worth it,” said Heather.