FOREST CITY | Six-year-old Rayne Goins of Forest City, who is receiving chemotherapy for a brain tumor, now has a bedroom fit for a princess.
My Happy Place, a Mason City-based non-profit organization that provides free bedroom makeovers for children affected by illness or emotional distress, recently redecorated Rayne’s room and added new furniture.
Rayne, the daughter of Jon and Nicole Goins, likes princesses. Her favorite colors are pink, purple and teal.
My Happy Place kept all that in mind when working on her room.
There's a large crown on the wall over Rayne’s new bed with white curtains hanging from it.
"She says it makes her sleep like a princess," Nicole said.
It's very different from nearly a year ago, when Rayne had severe migraines that made her scream in her sleep.
She had an MRI done in Mason City. By the time the family got back to Forest City, they received a call saying Rayne needed to have brain surgery.
The next day the Goins took the little girl to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, for the procedure.
Nicole said they had a choice of going to Rochester or Iowa City, but chose Rochester because "most of my family is up there."
Rayne has a golf-ball sized tumor. Nicole said the surgeons removed as much of it as they could without damaging her facial nerves.
In March Rayne had another MRI that showed the remains of the tumor were already showing growth.
Her parents decided to start her on chemotherapy.
Rayne recently started the fifth of a possible eight cycles of chemo.
During each cycle, which lasts for six weeks, she goes to Rochester every Friday for chemo. She gets a two-week break at the end of each cycle.
Nicole said they take her to the Mayo Clinic Health Center in Albert Lea, Minnesota, when she has a fever, which usually happens the day after she has chemo.
Her parents hope she will be finished with chemo by summer.
Rayne is in first grade at Forest City Elementary. She's been able to make it to school every day except on the Fridays she has chemo or on the few days when she's not been well enough.
"The school has been phenomenal," Nicole said. "They make sure she stays on track."
The school also did several fundraisers for the family.
Rayne has to have an MRI every 12 weeks.
"She's super-brave and does her MRI without sedation," Nicole said, noting the MRI techs say they can't do that and stay still enough.
Nicole said she'd never heard of My Happy Place until Kim Nessett, a friend from Mason City, mentioned it.
Nessett is the one who nominated Rayne for a My Happy Place bedroom makeover.
The walls of Rayne's room were repainted. The makeover included a new dresser, a toy box, a wooden dollhouse, and a nightstand with a starlight lamp.
She also received new bedding and pillows, including one with Disney princesses on it.
"I like the window curtains," Rayne said.
The large ball on each end of the curtain rods is "almost like a snow globe," Jon added.
A number of businesses and individuals made the bedroom makeover possible.
"She practically lives up there now," Nicole said as she and Jon sat in the kitchen while Rayne could be heard jumping around to a Kidz Bop record in her room upstairs.
"Can you hear me down there?" she called out.
Rayne has remained her energetic, talkative self during her treatment.
But when she first saw the results of the bedroom makeover, "she was actually speechless," her mom said. "She's never that quiet."
The work My Happy Place did was amazing, according to Nicole.
"It's a wonderful group of people," she said.