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Bedroom "Man Cave" Makeover For Teen Cancer Survivor

Jennifer Nelson

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Make-A-Wish® and Sleep Number turn 18-year-old Dully Abraham's bedroom into a Dallas Cowboys-themed man cave.


Eighteen-year-old Abdullah “Dully" Abraham, of Syracuse, New York, is a huge Dallas Cowboys fan — and now he has the “man cave" bedroom to prove it.



After a devastating diagnosis of leukemia two years ago that included a medication regimen he'd likely have to follow for life, Dully was looking forward to having some fun, relaxation and downtime — ideally in a Cowboys-themed man cave that would be perfect for hanging out with the guys.


Dully's wish was made possible through the partnership between Make-A-Wish and Sleep Number. Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and Dully's cancer, the man cave is now decked out with a fresh coat of paint, an accent wall, new carpeting, shelving and furniture, including Dallas Cowboys-themed gaming chairs, a couch, a mini-fridge and a new Sleep Number smart bed with bedding.



Because a brighter tomorrow starts with smarter sleep, Sleep Number is committed to improving the lives of 1 million youth by 2025, and is thrilled to partner with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help Dully.


Dully was psyched about getting a bonafide bedroom makeover, said his mom, Mona Abraham. “He just wanted a man cave; a new space to hang out with his friends and cousins when they visit."


Research Identifies Sleep Health as Vital for Teens and Those Recovering from Cancer

Sleep research shows that having a comfortable bedroom space, a good mattress and getting the proper sleep at night is important not only for good overall health but for healing and recovery after illness.


Teens are the most sleep-deprived segment of modern society. They often stay up late doing homework, rise early to get to class, and may be more attached to screens than adults, which can wreak havoc on their sleep.


What's more, a study in the journal Sleep Medicine found that a significant number of cancer survivors can have sleep problems years after a diagnosis due to fears of cancer returning or from physical or emotional issues related to their cancer.



Having a Sleep Number® smart bed can help put Dully on the path to great sleep for life. The SleepIQ® technology inside lets Dully track his sleep health, and it offers valuable insight with the new heart rate variability feature. Dully can use the insights from his HealthIQ™ Wellness report to tweak his sleep routine and help boost his energy and sleep recovery day-to-day.


On the Road to Recovery

You'd never know what Dully, a tenacious, positive-minded high school senior, has been through. But his leukemia diagnosis was only two years ago. One weekend in late summer of 2019 Dully didn't feel well and had a fever that wouldn't quit.


After visits to urgent care and the emergency room, numerous tests, a consultation with an oncologist, and a bone marrow biopsy, the family finally got the diagnosis they were dreading.



Mona and her husband, Omar, called Dully's grandparents to the hospital and together the four of them broke the news to Dully.


“His grandfather said, 'Put your faith in God. You're strong and you can handle this,'" Mona recalls. “Everyone cried. Then we got into how to fix it."


During the next few months with the support of family and friends, Dully decided he wasn't going to let cancer defeat him.


“He was about to start the football season," Mona said. “The prior year he had torn his ACL and had missed the entire season. He wasn't going to miss another one."


Determined to play, Dully followed doctor's orders and within a month was given the okay to return to the football team.


“He played a great season!" Mona said.



Focus on Health, Good Sleep Habits and the Future

Today, Dully is a high school senior preparing for graduation and planning his future. He'll likely attend Onondaga Community College, then decide where to go from there. While he hasn't picked his major yet, he's considering law, law enforcement, or perhaps engineering.


Dully needs to visit his oncologist every few months, but overall, he's doing great and feels well.


“At first there were moments that his body needed to adjust, and he was tired and sore," Mona said. But once he got a few months of treatment under his belt, he adapted and kept up his positive outlook.


The bedroom makeover is just one more step in his journey.


Make-A-Wish Central New York is part of a global wish-granting organization. It was founded in 1985 and has granted more than 1,900 wishes for children throughout its 15-county footprint.


The organization was thrilled to be able to help create Dully's dream man cave and bedroom makeover, said Diane Kuppermann, Make-A-Wish Central New York President and CEO. They were grateful to team up with Sleep Number, which made the experience that much more special.


“With nearly 200 medically eligible children waiting for their wishes in our 15-county territory and an average wish cost of $12,000, having the support of corporate partners like Sleep Number is imperative to making life-changing wishes like Dully's come true," Kuppermann said.


Like diet and exercise, quality sleep is essential for optimal well-being and performance. Because everyone's sleep needs are different, Sleep Number® smart beds, with SleepIQ® technology inside, sense your movements and automatically adjust firmness, comfort and support to keep you both sleeping comfortably. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night's sleep.



Jennifer Nelson is a Florida-based health writer who writes about all things sleep hygiene. She writes for The National Sleep Foundation, Phillips, Tom's Guide, Southern Living, Health, AARP, and others.

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