Blissful Bedrooms
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Juan’s bedroom makeover

It is with deep sadness that we convey to you that our beloved Juan merged with the light on January 2, 2013. He stepped out of the merciless confines and brutal limitations of his earthly body, and now our motorcycle-loving Juanie is riding with the angels in Heaven. No more pain, no more suffering, no more disappointments, no more sorrow for Juan. His family and friends from near and far are left with heavy hearts and tear-filled eyes. Yet, we are rejoicing that his soul is liberated to fly free again and walk, run, jump, do cart wheels through time and space. Thank you sweet Juan for allowing us to be a part of your journey here and for shining your light on so many. You’re gentle spirit, your loving demeanor, your tender eyes, your grace and beauty, your profound statements of wisdom, your courage, strength and bravado – Juan, you will never be forgotten. Each of us who knows Juan has at least one sweet story to share of a profound and provocative memory of a special interaction that warmed our hearts and elevated our spirits. You have left us with invaluable gifts Juan and you have left this world a better place than you found it.

Every time we hear the roar of a motorcycle engine, we will think of you, remembering your shy, boyish grin, and a smile will emerge on our face dedicated to you.

Friends, the family is in great need of our support to lay their beloved Juan to rest. If you would like to make a donation to help with the funeral expenses, you can do so via the Paypal DONATE button below.

Juan Anthonio Marrero
5-16-92 – 1-2-13





UPDATE!!! During the weekend of 4/29-5/1/11, Blissful Bedrooms gave Juan a double dose of dreams come true!!! Not only did we give Juan the Motorcycle/ Transformers themed bedroom of his dreams, but we also gave him the opportunity to be a superstar, as he fulfilled a life long dream and took his very first motorcycle ride with a group of fellow bikers during the Ride with Juan event. In total, more than 50 volunteers took part in Juan’s weekend, many of whom not only volunteered on both days – for the Ride and the bedroom makeover – but also who were working weeks ahead of time creating original art work and custom-made furniture that made the outcome of his bedroom unbelievably awesome, unique and fantastic. Anyone who knew Juan before this experience can attest to the fact that he is noticeably different – a happy and content teenager. From a depressed, forlorn and pitied young man to a hopeful, toe-tapping, song-singing, joyful guy who, by the way, is now envied by just about every male in the world. Even if you don’t know Juan personally, intuitively you can sense from viewing the pictures below that a drastic transformation has indeed taken place in his spirit.

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Juan is a beautiful and sweet 18-year-old young man who has a diagnosis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Muscular dystrophy is a genetic, degenerative disease that eventually affects all voluntary muscles, as well as the heart and breathing muscles.

Juan has a gentle, shy smile and soulful eyes that can melt your heart on contact. He currently is enrolled in a New York City Special Education school. As one can imagine, Juan is extremely down about his life circumstances and he is very aware of the progressive deterioration that is going on in his body, and the fatal prognosis that is attached to his disease (survival is rare beyond the early 30’s). Where once, in his younger years, Juan was able to walk and function like others boys his age, he is now completely dependent on a motorized wheelchair for mobility, and on others to perform all activities of daily living for him (i.e., transferring to and from his wheelchair, eating, bathing, grooming, toileting, etc). He has severe muscle wasting throughout his body with little to no voluntary movement of his trunk and upper and lower extremities, and he is unable to sit up independently. Juan possesses some purposeful movement of his hands, right greater than left, which gives him the ability to use a computer and play video games, his primary leisure activities when he is at home.

Juan is often melancholy and depressed and he misses a lot of days from school. Sometimes he becomes so despondent that he refuses to even pick up his head and interact with others. This makes his family members very sad, especially his mom, whose eyes well up with tears whenever she talks about it. The one topic that makes Juan extremely happy, and leads to his adorable, characteristic head tilt is MOTORCYCLES. When he experiences these common episodes of dejection, those who know him and love him would give anything to see that heartwarming head posture, accompanied by his curious and wonder filled eyes, which more than anything conveys a sense of hope and optimism.

Juan lives at home with his mom and three sisters on the sixth floor in a low-income housing structure in the Bronx. He has his own bedroom, which encompasses a hospital bed and an oxygen tank. His favorite color is blue. He loves science fiction and fantasy figures, including Iron Man and GI Joe, with his all-time favorite being the Transformers. Juan is captivated by the book The Outsiders, which he was introduced to this school year. He enjoys watching movies and his taste in films is varied and diverse, ranging from contemporary Hollywood action films, to sentimental and emotional movies. Juan’s fascination with motorcycles is so intense that he spends much of his spare time either looking at magazines featuring motorcycles, or surfing the internet in search of motorcycle images.

Juan dreams of the freedom and thrill of driving a cool, fast, sporty/futuristic motorycle. Juan dreams of living in a fantasy world where superheros overcome obstacles and save the world from destruction. JUAN DREAMS WITHOUT LIMITS. However his physical reality is filled with challenges most of us cannot even begin to imagine. Although we certainly cannot change Juan’s diagnosis, we can change the quality of his life and the peace and contentment he feels in the environment where he spends so much of his daily life – his bedroom. Most importantly, we can infuse his present reality with LOVE- the most powerful healing source in the universe!!

Photos

While the Ride with Juan was going on, another team of dedicated volunteers - aka TEAM JUAN - were hard at work transforming Juan's bedroom into the Motorcycle/Transformers bedroom of his dreams. In fact, work began on Friday morning (4/29) and went straight through to Sunday evening, when his bedroom was finally revealed to him and his family at about 8:15 P.M. I am sure you will agree that the results are mind blowing, and demonstrate the power of love and endless possibilities that exist when a group of compassionate individuals come together to make the dream of a needy individual as important as their own. It is beautiful when someone goes out of their way to help one of their own family members in need. But when someone wholeheartedly extends themselves to a stranger, or a person they only know superficially, and become family as a result of that experience, that is downright astonishing! Each and every person involved in Juan’s dream weekend was a integral piece that completed the puzzle leading to his happiness, and have contributed to something so profound and far reaching, that words cannot even begin to express it. We changed the world for better during that weekend, believe it!

On Saturday April 30th, beginning at 8:00 A.M., more than 30 volunteers - aka TEAM RIDE WITH JUAN - came together to carry out what the Bronx Motorcycle and Car Clubs described as a historical event, the likes of which the Bronx has never seen before. The Ride with Juan was the first of its kind to ever happen at Crotona Park and the first motorcycle ride to include the very person they were doing it in honor of. After days and days of rain, the sun shined and the temperature declared that it was finally t-shirt weather.

Support
Thank you to all of the amazing people who made this spectacular event possible! Whether you volunteered your time, donated money, or donated products and services, we are forever grateful and couldn't have done it without you.

BEDROOM MAKEOVER VOLUNTEERS
Adam Seim
Alan Tlusty
Alex Dvoryadkin
Arturo Garcia
Avalon Garcia
Brandon Rigoli
Carla Reyes
Cory Mahler
Dave Goldstein
Harry Lacoste
Jose Vargas
Juned Hussain
Kristen Haskell
Martha Gold-Dvoryadkin
Naomi Asselin
Rebekah Coulter
Samantha Rigoli
Sarah Seim
Vanessa von Hessert

RIDE WITH JUAN VOLUNTEERS
Aileen Martin
Alan Nunez
Alan Tlusty
Alex Dvoryadkin
Anna Uzzel-Harreveld
Annerys Peralta
Athalys Aviles
Avalon Garcia
Carolyn Fitzmaurice
Elena Genovese
Christian Harreveld
Christina Jernigan
Ciena Gaston-Simmons
Cory Mahler
Dara Wishingrad
Dave Goldstein
Ginna Incalcaterra
Jochem van Dijk
John Fitzmaurice
Karin Sagona
Kim McPherson
Lloyd Friedman
Martha Gold-Dvoryadkin
Matthew Carter
Mayra Ramos
Megan Tlusty
Michele Golom-Polgano
Migdalia Llanos
Naomi Asselin
Olin Martin
Patricia Fallon Corso
Pedro Lugo
Paul Shoyinka
Ravi Wilkes
Roseann L. Simmons
Sam Kusnetz
Sarah Seim
Sheila Brennan
Sidki Conde
Suzannah Kincannon
Ursula Simmons
Yair Gelb

Thank you to all of the generous ORGANIZATIONS/BUSINESSES and INDIVIDUALS who supported Juan’s dream weekend by donating funds, products, food, services, materials, etc, and/or facilitating tasks that were imperative for the success of this weekend of love for Juan. The Ride with Juan and Blissful Bedrooms makeover could not have been possible without the help of all involved!    

BUSINESSES & ORGANIZATIONS

A&D Meat Market, Astoria, NY (Tom Georgeou)
Balloon Bonanza (Adam) – www.balloonbonanzainc.com
Belaire Diner (Patty Dellaportas) (www.belairediner.net)
BJ’s (Marlene Jiminez) – BJs.com
Black Falcons Motorcycle Club, Bronx, NY
Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company, Astoria, NY (www.brooklynbagelandcoffeecompany.com)
Ceci Cela Patisserie (Dorian Vincent) – www.cecicelanyc.com
Chosen Ones Motorcycle Club, Bronx, NY
Classified Moto (John & Betsy Ryland) - Classifiedmoto.com
Courier Car Rental (Dave Bellofato) – www.ccrentalnyc.com
Daytona Jackets (Peter Hadwin) – www.daytonajackets.com
Dunkin Donuts (Ditmars Blvd & 31st Street, Astoria, NY) – www.dunkindonuts.com
EmbroidMe (Maria Emma) (www.embroidme-midtownnyc.com)
Film Biz Recycling (Eva Radke) (filmbizrecycling.org)
Film Biz Recycling Customers – Donation Jar (filmbizrecycling.org)
Grandaisy Bakery (Romel Tovar) – www.grandaisybakery.com
Gussy’s Bar, Astoria, New York (Gus & Union Ironworkers MC)
Holmans Helmets (Rex Holman) – holmanshelmets.com
International Caterers of Distinction - www.international-Caterers.com
Jetro (Eddie) – www.Jetro.com
Kahn Lucas Lancaster - www.kahnlucas.com
Kawasaki Forum - www.Kawiforums.com
Largent Studios (Kevin Largent) - www.largentstudios.com
Monoprice (Sean Lee) (www.monoprice.com)
New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (Chanel Green)
New York City Housing Authority (Mohamed Ali, Melania Allen, David Aron)
Nicecycle.com – (Kyle) – www.nicecycle.com
Nubgrafix.com (Nub) – www.nubgrafix.com
NYPD - 42nd Police Precinct (Captain Jon E. Bloch, Detective Tracy Kiser, Officer Matthew Rey, Detective Angel Itizzari)
Orangepiel.com (Michael McCool) – orangepiel.com
P.C. Richards, East 86th Street, New York (Chris Neshem) – www.pcrichard.com
Starbucks (Francisco Fernandez, Store Manager) – Ditmars & 31st Street – www.starbucks.com
Street Bangers Auto Club, Bronx, NY (Pedro Lugo, Samuel Martinez) – www.streetbangersautoclub.com
Superbike Plus – Bruckner Blvd, Bronx, NY
Tekserve (Dave Lerner & Andrea Suarez) – www.Tekserve.com
The Big Picture (Diana Mora) – www.the-big-picture.com
Transformers Community (BiZZiD, joshnpowell, rodimusprime2007,sanchomaul, Schide, Brunkion76, Hoptimus, omega145, Prowl4680 & B'Bantor of www.tfw2005.com)
True Aces Motorcycle Club, Bronx, NY
Union Iron Workers Local 483 Motorcycle Club
Zipcar (Monica Brouwer, Marketing Manager) – www.zipcar.com

INDIVIDUALS
Francesco Acocella
Brenda Allen
Michael Alvarado
Donna Antico
Kathryn Atkins
Julie Baker
Lillian Bamenga
Lucille Barchitta
Elliot Baron
Rachel Beal
Sarah Belaire
Julio Betancourt
Zita Body
Debbie Brown
Christina Buck
Carol Bufano
Linda Burke
Karen Campbell
Nanc Carpenter
Stephanie Carenza
Ciretta Carroll
Jeffrey & Elizabeth Carter
Joyce Cobb
Alexia Conville
Pam Coopersmith
Patricia Fallon Corso
Helen Coulson
Sandra Couture
Cullen Crawford
Allison Crosby
Maria Defrancesco & Neal Jacobs
Donna Dimino
Ciellie Divine
Erica Durante
Ensler Family
Ashley Epting
Kimberly Escobar
Melissa Fendell
Patrick Foran -
Latasha Ford
Jacquelyn Fowler
Lefkie Fradelos
German Family
Matthew Giedra
Michele Golom-Polgano
Irene Gonzalez
Vionette Gonzalez
Ricelle Grossinger
Annabelle Haberkorn
Rushabh Haria
Lori Harlan
Eric Hedin
Mike Hernandez
Jim Hoffman
Virginia Incalcaterra
Jason Jarrell & Sarah Farmer
Christina Jernigan
Vera Jones
Michele Katter
Steven Kendall
Denise Kimberg
Joel Klase
Marilyn Knapp
Lisa Kroin
Edwards Kufts
Larrie Lance
Kimberly Lepold
Frances Lim
Kristin Long & Katherine Deats
Cristina Luzick
Maria Fe Manso Umali
Claudia Marquez
Girlie Marvin-Llao
Scott Charles Mason & Nadine Doyle Mason
Beth & Andrew McCarthy
Emily McLaughlin
Bobbie Melton
Alicia Merschen-Perez
Hayley Miller
JennieMcGuire
Janet McNamee
Charito McThrow
Rebecca Nelson
Blake Neubert
Mike Neville
Kim Oransky
Eduardo Ortiz
Juan Ovalles
E. Sophia Ovanessian
Benett Pearlman
Cindy Phillips
Melody C. Pfeiffer
Mda Rahman
Claudia Rodas
Alison Rodriguez
Esteban Rodriguez
Marie Sanchez
Jessica Santikul
Arlene Santos
Marilyn Schaffer
Roseann L. Simmons
Beth Simon
Barbara Sloan
Vedra Sprull
Amy Stevens
Sarah Suh
Alan Tlusty
Philip Tu
Kathleen Van Valen
Richard Vela
Vanessa von Hessert
Camille Walker
Peggy Walsh
Ed Westermann
Erin White
Betsy Whitney
Christopher Zguris      

Blissful Bedroom T-shirt Sales towards Juan’s Room

Brenda Allen
Michael Alvarado
Erica Diakite
Fabia Durant
Michael Durant
Lloyd Friedman
Michele Golom-Polgano
Girlie Marvin-Llao
Mary Rose Lucian
Kim McPherson
Cuthbert Myers
Kim Oransky
Angel Pachecho
Evelyn Perez
Francis Polgano
Beatriz Rojas
Kathleen Schmidt
Barbara Silver
Tamara Wilson
Kendall Willson

If you are touched and inspired by what you've seen above, please help us to perform our next bedroom makeover by making a donation of any amount today. Our work is only possible because of your generous contributions and loyal support!