Hazel gets a new playroom
Three-year-old Hazel Norris was diagnosed with epilepsy at just 2 months old. Since then, she has undergone many hospital visits, tests and procedures along with multiple drug therapies and has had brain surgery to try and help control her seizures. On average, Hazel has 50 seizures weekly and needs to be supervised constantly because of those seizures. Hazel was recently awarded a grant through Wishes & More, a Minnesota-based charity that supports local kids struggling with terminal or life-threatening conditions, and the Home Depot Foundation, to build and furnish a sensory playroom in her basement. Greg Pouliot, a family friend of the Norris family, donated his time and expertise as the general contractor for the project, working with Home Depot on the construction of the room. Primrose Schools of Edina and West Plymouth raised funds to support Hazel's wish. Bianca Januik, who is one of the owners of those two Primrose Schools, was the Wishes & More volunteer project manager for Hazel's wish. Januik designed the room with fine motor and gross motor sensory areas, a reading nook, kitchen and grocery play areas, arts and crafts zones, a dress up space with a large mirror, and a media area. "We are overwhelmed," said Hazel's mother Gina Norris. "It's very exciting to have a space where she's able to be herself. It's a place where she can grow and play independently and will be great for her development." The wish was made possible by many local businesses, community groups and individual volunteers who donated time, materials, funds and expertise to fulfill the wish coordinated by Wishes & More. "It was a community effort," said Gina Norris. "We will do our best to pay it forward."