SAN JOSE -- Misha Byrne, the first recipient of a dream bedroom makeover by a Bay Area group that helps kids with life-threatening illnesses, died at home Wednesday.
Misha was 10 when he was featured in an April story about Special Spaces. The San Ramon-based volunteer group remade his room the way he wanted -- with a Mario Brothers, kitten and Little League theme -- to help him in his fight with leukemia.
"It was a privilege and honor to codesign Misha's room with him," Shelley Ham, director of the Special Spaces Bay Area Chapter, said in a statement.
"His love for life and enthusiasm is what we'll miss most. Everyone at Special Spaces has been blessed to have spent so much time with this very special family. Our sincere love and sympathy goes out to Misha's parents and family."
An avid sports fan and video game player, Misha received a bone-marrow transplant in 2009 that put his leukemia in remission, but the cancer returned in October 2010 and slowly took its toll.
Ham launched Special Spaces Bay Area in June 2011, and Misha's bedroom was transformed in October as the organization's first project. In April, Misha's doctors told his family that he had weeks, maybe months to live.
Misha died at home in his room, according to his wishes, Ham said.
The Byrne family is planning a private celebration of life for Misha on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made in Misha's name to the
Ham and the organization have remade nine rooms for children with life threatening illnesses throughout the Bay Area, and another six siblings' bedrooms and one complete home makeover. For details about Special Spaces, visit specialspacessanfrancisco.org.
Contact Robert Jordan at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/robjordan127.