By DIANE DIERKS
Ben Durcholz's wish for a room makeover is closer to fulfillment.
Volunteers are collecting materials needed to transform the bedroom into a basketball gymnasium and McDonald's activity area in order to make this child's wish come true.
Ben has been diagnosed with a form of mucopolysaccharidoses, which according to information provided by the National MPS Society is a group of hereditary diseases caused by enzyme deficiencies, which prevent the breaking down and recycling of cell materials, resulting in damage throughout the body. "Affected individuals may have mental retardation, cloudy corneas, short stature, stiff joints, incontinence, speech and hearing impairment, chronic runny nose, hernia, heart disease, hyperactivity, depression, pain and a dramatically shortened life span."
The room will contain a miniature basketball court and goal, lockers, themed bedding, bleachers, restaurant style dining table, full-size statue of Ronald McDonald, McDonald's Golden Arches and other McDonald's collectibles. The remodel will begin Sept. 14 and the room reveal will take place Saturday, Sept. 16. Ronald McDonald will be dropping by to visit Ben and his family. This will be his first ever residential appearance. Annette Durcholz, Ben's mother, says that he is, "crazy about both basketball and McDonald's." The room redo will allow Ben to visit his favorite places without leaving home.
Ben's siblings are also included in the Make-A-Wish project. Emily Durcholz received a gift basket with certificates for a manicure, pedicure and hairstyle and Patrick Durcholz received a Colts hat and shirt and a pair of Colts tickets.
"Because the bedroom makeover is so big, the foundation did not want the siblings of Ben (Emily and Patrick) to think that they were forgotten," said Teresa Bradley, Make-A-Wish volunteer.
Each year about 300 children in Indiana are recipients of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The average cost of a project is $6,000. Thanks to the donations of local residents, only $1,000 is needed to completely cover the cost of Ben's bedroom.
"The more money that is donated, the more wishes that are able to be granted in the future to children who are dealing with life-threatening conditions," Bradley said.