In a heartwarming episode of Designing Spaces, we were introduced to Liam, a remarkable young boy who faces the challenges of living with Allan-Herndon-Dudley syndrome (AHDS). This is a rare genetic disorder that affects brain development and function.
Alongside Liam is his dedicated mother, Nicole Bolufe, whose unwavering support and determination have helped him navigate his condition. If you haven’t gotten a chance to watch the episode yet, you can check it out on the Designing Spaces site. So you can understand what captivated us the most, we are highlighting the key moments from this episode. These moments showcase the power of love, understanding, and creating spaces of hope for children like Liam, and their fearless caretakers like Nicole.
We are first introduced to Liam and his mother, Nicole, who openly share their journey with AHDS. The strong mother sheds light on the daily struggles they face, including the limitations on Liam’s motor skills, speech development, and overall cognitive abilities. Despite the challenges, Nicole’s unconditional love and fierce determination to provide the best life for Liam serve as an inspiration to viewers.
Nicole has expressed that a wheelchair van would make it more accessible to get Liam in and out of. Over time, she has developed back issues from these difficulties, hindering her from doing as many activities as she has once done with Liam, which she really wants to get back.
They were also in need of a ramp, and a more comfortable mobile chair to get Liam around in.
Nicole also expressed that because Liam needs someone constantly looking out for him and advocating for him, she doesn’t sleep at night, because she spends the nights researching to learn more about his condition trying to find the “next best thing for Liam”.
Creating a space of hope
Designing Spaces was determined to change all of this.
Nicole fortunately has the help of Chris K, her boyfriend, who loves and cares for Liam deeply, as well as Nicole. Chris sent Liam and Nicole out for the day so that he was able to implement all of the changes that the brands below have made in order to transform their home into a space of hope.
Legacy brand GE provided a much-needed smart upgrade to the family’s water heater, allowing Nicole to take relaxing baths without worrying that she will use the hot water needed for Liam’s care. She can control the temperature from her phone, allowing her to begin heating the water in advance.
Novaform made sure to help the supermom with her sleep by providing her with a brand new mattress. “We have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of those around us”. – Lauren Spina from Novaform.
The outdoor space also got an upgrade, with top-notch mosquito repellent. Now, the family can hang out around the fire pit all year long, which is one of Liam’s favorite activities.
Continuing on the path of making Liam’s life as comfortable as possible, we were joined by Drive. Through their help, Liam was provided with new mobility and posturing equipment to grow with him well into his teenage years.
Oh, but there’s more! Liam and his family now have a physical therapy corner – something really important to him and his betterment.
The grand reveal brought out tears of happiness
After all of the changes were made, it was time to bring home Liam and Nicole to check out all of the upgrades. It was a gift in itself to get to see Nicole’s reactions. You could tell these changes brought her immense joy. The surprises meant a lot of Nicole, but that wasn’t the end of it yet.
All of the sudden, a van with a bow pulls up to the home. “Chris from Seaworld” had another gift for the family. He gave them a VIP trip to Seaworld, which included having all expenses paid with a special meet and greet with Liam’s favorite animals. Doug Campbell, BrandStar’s CRO and cofounder, was also in the car. Once he reached her, he offered Nicole a position on BrandStar’s team in an area of her expertise, but more importantly to join the family that is BrandStar. Lastly, Owen O’neill, the CEO of Clinics Can Help, offered Nicole the car they were in, which is an adaptive van, perfect for what Nicole needs for Liam’s care.
Nicole and Liam’s happiness made everything worthwhile.
Designing Spaces emphasizes the importance of a strong support network for families facing struggles in their lives. This episode highlights local organizations and resources available to Liam and Nicole, connecting them with a community of families who understand and share their experiences. Through this network, Liam and Nicole found solace, guidance, and encouragement from others.