It was Tamisha Walden who really inspired Martha Gold-Dvoryadkin.
Walden, then 22, has cerebral palsy. Not only can she not walk, but she cannot move her arms or her legs or even sit upright. Gold-Dvoryadkin was Walden’s physical therapist when she was in school, but when Walden graduated two years ago, she found difficulty being accepted into an adult day program due to the severity of her impairments.
“For the kids who are severely disabled, there are really not many programs that can accommodate them,” said Queens resident Gold-Dvoryadkin. “So what happens is they have a life of just sitting at home, in their bedrooms.”
So Gold-Dvoryadkin decided she could help: She entirely redecorated Walden’s room, turning it from drab to vibrant in pink and green, decorated with bright butterflies.
“When Tamisha saw it, she was screaming ‘Wow, wow, wow!’” recalled Gold-Dvoryadkin.
And so Blissful Bedrooms was born. Gold-Dvoryadkin and her husband, Alex, have since transformed the bedrooms of nine severely disabled New York teens. They only work with low-income applicants “whose families can’t do this for them,” she said.
For the first time ever, Juan Marrero, 18, who has Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, will leave his wheelchair and ride in a motorcycle sidecar, one of his lifelong dreams. Ride with Juan will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Crotona Park in the Bronx. There will be a barbecue afterward. It’s $20 to attend and all proceeds will go to help Blissful Bedrooms transform Marrero’s room.
Lend a hand
Get involved! Here are upcoming charity events:
» April 27: The Art and Antique Dealers League of America will hold their inaugural Spring Show NYC at the Park Avenue Armory. General admission is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for $75. View animal-themed paintings and sculptures at 65 dealer booths. A portion of proceeds from the night goes to the ASPCA.
» April 30: Join the Wildlife Conservation Society’s third annual Run for the Wild this Saturday at the Bronx Zoo. Money raised from this year’s 5K run/walk goes to penguin conservation. Online registration is $30.
» May 5: Ninth annual African bazaar and silent auction at Donna Karan’s Urban Zen at 711 Greenwich Street. $40 at the door and you can bid on African and European vacations, luxury spa packages and handcrafted African goods. All proceeds benefit children of the Samburu tribe in Kenya.
Follow Carly Baldwin on Twitter at @CarlyatMetro.