Phoenix Suns Dancers, Gorilla surprise San Tan Valley girl at bedroom remodel unveiling

 

 

From having a video of her dancing in her hospital room to “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift go viral to getting a GoFundMe donation from the superstar singer herself, this has been quite the year for Naomi Oakes, an 11-year-old San Tan Valley girl.

And on Nov. 17 she got more surprises. While Naomi was in the hospital fighting Acute Myeloid Leukemia, the design firm Genesis Luxury Group redecorated her bedroom and the dancers from the Phoenix Suns basketball team helped with the grand reveal.

It was part of an effort on the part of the design firm to make life a little easier for the young girl who has been in the hospital for the past three months battling leukemia. Naomi is an avid dancer and dreams one day of becoming a Suns’ dancer.

To welcome her home, Genesis Luxury Group renovated Naomi’s room, adding an Apple television, LED lights behind her mirror, wood floors and a special reading area.

“I always grew up with parents who taught me if you’re blessed with more than you need, you build a longer table and not a higher wall,” Jon Allen, president and founder of Genesis Luxury Group, said during an interview at the reveal. “It’s exactly how Genesis works. When we see those in need, we always want to give back to the community.”

This was a more personal project for Mr. Allen. He learned of Naomi’s fight via the social media #TeamNaomi.

“I have mutual friends with her father,” he said. “And in seeing her story on social media I learned that her father and I were best friends in ninth grade.”

Mr. Allen said that Naomi’s room was basic with carpet and a standard closet. But the Genesis designers created the room of Naomi’s dreams.

“We gutted everything out to the walls,” he said.

Genesis added new hardwood floors, new dance mirrors, shelving in the closet with a sliding barn door, new LED lighting behind the mirrors and new furniture.

Naomi knew of the redesign and was able to make some of her wishes known.

“I gave my mom the ideas that I had and then she gave it to the designer,” she said after the reveal. “But it is more than I had asked for.”

Mrs. Oakes said Naomi asked for wood floors to practice dancing and a mirror so she could see herself. Naomi has been a dancer since she was 4. Naomi dances at Freestyle dance company in Queen Creek.

When Naomi got home from the hospital she got to see her new room.

“I was speechless,” she said of seeing her new room for the first time. “I was just smiling. I couldn’t say anything. I was just in awe.”

“(We) pretty much turned it into something she had always dreamed about,” Mr. Allen said.

Mrs. Oakes said that round three of chemotherapy was really tough on Naomi so the remodeling of her room gave her something to focus on and look forward to seeing when she was released.

“I feel like we have been lifted through this whole process,” Mrs. Oakes said. “Round three was nothing short of a miracle. She got really sick and we weren’t sure how things were going to go.”

To officially welcome Naomi home to her new room, the members of the Phoenix Suns Dancers and the Gorilla came to her home.

But the new room and meeting the dancers was not the only surprise they had for Naomi.

“We gave her a present,” Amanda, one of the Suns Dancers said “which was a Suns basketball jersey that matches our jersey and leggings so she can have a matching uniform with us.”

They also invited her to dance with them at some point during the season.

“We also gave her an honorary Suns Dancers certificate so she is now a Suns Dancer member,” Amanda said.

“I am so happy that I am a Phoenix Suns Dancer now,” Naomi said. “I’m really excited.”

Amanda, who has been on the team for four years, enjoys participating in events like this.

“It’s so cool to see people who are healing and to get to see them happy and enjoying life.”

Naomi is no stranger to the Suns’ court at Talking Stick Resort Arena. She has danced there with her own dance team during pregame and halftime.

“Normally I do it with 60 other people from my dance company. Now there’s a lot less people,” she said. “I’m really excited though.”

Naomi entered remission after the first round of chemo.

“But they have to finish all four rounds because AML is super aggressive,” Mrs. Oakes said. “We have one more follow-up to make sure it is still gone and then we will have to do follow-ups from time to time.”

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