KAAL: ‘My Happy Haven’ Gives Women With Cancer A Special Place of Their Own

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(ABC 6 News) -- Hearing the phrase 'You have cancer' can be one of the most devastating pieces of news someone can get. To help make that news less devastating, a north Iowa group is helping area women relax and recover with a soothing space in their own homes.

Sunday, Theresa Grein and her family got to see her new bedroom remodel, complete with plug-in fireplace, television and lots of family photos.

"I was diagnosed in July of last year with small-cell carcinoma; it was in the lung, the liver, and the lymph nodes," she recalled.

After spending months traveling to doctors' appointments, she said she just wanted a place at home where she could unwind. Her sister-in-law reached out to My Happy Haven, which surprised her with the remodel.

"She got a hold of me and I remember what she said, it was, 'Theresa's been on the receiving end of a lot of not-so-good news, and she could really use a pick-me-upper,'" co-founder Lisa Tan said.

Tan, a cancer survivor herself, designer Chris Anderson and the team began the remodel Wednesday, the eighth since the group got started around a year ago.

"It's a really comforting feeling, I was really surprised at what they've done," Grein said after seeing the reveal. "I appreciate everyone who helped with it. It'll be nice to come home and just be able to relax."

The project was funded by donations from area businesses, including $1,250 from Knudtson Automotive Services in Northwood, which donated a percentage of each oil change they completed in October.

If you would like to nominate a north Iowa woman dealing with cancer, visit My Happy Haven's website:  https://myhappyhavenmc.com/

A similar group called My Happy Place also founded by Tan helps sick kids in north Iowa. To nominate someone for that program, visit their website:  http://myhappyplacemc.com/

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