Panora teen battling cancer receives bedroom makeover


PANORA, Iowa — A Panora teenager battling cancer received a surprise of a lifetime — a bedroom makeover through the nonprofit, My Happy Place. The organization provides bedroom makeovers for kids and teenagers facing various health challenges.

On Sunday, 15-year-old Liberty Ashworth could not hold back tears as she walked into her new bedroom.

“I don’t even have words,” she said.

Ashworth describes herself as being glamorous and strong, but she is also a warrior. For two years, she has battled stage 4 colon cancer, a rare diagnosis for teenagers.

“It took [doctors] a long time to tell me it’s colon cancer,” said Jennifer Jensen, Liberty’s mother. “Typically it goes undiagnosed [and] typically it’s in stage 4 before they find it.”

Devastated by the diagnosis, Jensen reached out to My Happy Place, located in Mason City, to inquire if the nonprofit would makeover her daughter’s bedroom. The nonprofit agreed to do it.

“The CDC has said the magnitude of having a healthy therapeutic environment has such an impact on a person’s health and a person’s healing,” said Lisa Tan, the executive director and co-founder of My Happy Place. “We want Libbie to wake up every morning and just look at this room, [feel relaxed] and say ‘ahh’ and know that ‘I have a community of support behind me and just to feel the love when she sees the room.”

Ashworth picked out the decorations for the room, some of the bedroom furniture was built, and anonymous donors gave to the project.

“It definitely helps. Days like today make some of the hard stuff easier,” said Jensen.

My Happy Place is currently looking for volunteers to start a chapter in the Des Moines area. Click here if you are interested.

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