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The Coolest Movie Sleepover Basement

maren's muscles

“ You could just tell that this was everything that she wanted. ”


- Linda, Make-A-Wish volunteer

This past year, Maren was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and she immediately started what will be a two and a half-year journey of active treatments and chemotherapy.

Six-year-old Maren is a shy, sweet, and artistic girl who loves to be fancy and wear dresses. In fact, when she first met her wish granters she was wearing red lipstick and presented them with a booklet that she made that outlined exactly what she wanted for her wish with drawings and everything.

Maren loves to spend afternoons working on artwork or playing board games with her little sister and parents. In fact, Maren helps to design dresses for a charity that she and her mom started called The Brave Beauty Project. Maren’s love for arts and crafts as well as being the hostess with the most-ess led her to her wish of transforming the downstairs of her house into a space to play board games, work on her art and dress designing, and invite over all her friends and family over to watch movies or have sleepovers. Calling it all, “Maren’s Coolest Movie Sleepover Basement.”

Maren had a very clear picture in her head of what she wanted to see from a chill-out area to a secret hideout space all the way down to a movie-style popcorn machine. She wants to be the ultimate hostess in order to entertain all her friends.

“Maren did not want to see any of it until it was completely finished -- no peeking, nothing,” said Linda, one of Maren’s Make-A-Wish volunteers.

When it was all done, her family and friends came over for a reveal-party and they blindfolded Maren and brought her down to see her dream basement. When they took the blindfold off and she looked at all of these people that were looking at her, she was overwhelmed and she just about hid behind her mother. Then, all of her cousins and her sister started telling her to “come play this” and “come see this,” and finally she got out, started looking at everything, and was just thrilled.

"You could just tell that this was everything that she wanted,” said Linda.



  • Maren’s Coolest Movie Sleepover Basement!

  • The arts & crafts area!

  • Maren’s Coolest Movie Sleepover Basement!

  • Left: Movie-themed details | Right: Creative Corner

  • Maren and her wish-granting volunteers. L to R: Linda, Maren and Lindsey.

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Make-A-Wish® Illinois
640 North LaSalle Drive
Suite 280
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 602-9474
Toll Free (800) 978-9474