LEE -- Hunter Gaudette contentedly gave a tour of his Boston Celtics-themed bedroom which had been decorated as if it was the basketball team's locker room.
Diagnosed with a connective tissue disorder known as Loeys-Dietz syndrome two years ago, Hunter's room is painted in Celtic green and serves as his retreat from the daylong bouts of body pain and cases of ankle swelling.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses, made over the 13-year-old's room in December. Hunter could have wished for anything, but his mother, Missy Mosca, said she could tell by her son's reaction he made the right one: he looked like he was going to tear up from happiness.
"He wanted a room of comfort and serenity and a place to go when he's having a bad day," Mosca said.
"I picked this wish because it will last as long as I live here," Hunter said.
On Thursday, the family opened up their home to the media for the first time since Hunter received his bedroom makeover.
Loeys-Dietz syndrome is a recently discovered disorder that manifests itself differently depending on the person. People with the disorder exhibit a variety of medical features in the musculoskeletal, skin and cardiovascular systems, according to the Loeys-Dietz Syndrome Foundation.
According to Hunter, he experiences
Hunter's brother Jeff died in March 2011 at 20. He had a syndrome similiar to Loeys-Dietz syndrome, Mosca said.
Jeff died of complications related to a stroke, she said.
Hunter used to play basketball, but doctors now recommend he not play contact sports. His passion for basketball hasn't gone away. Hanging above his new bed, there's a signed jersey of the
"I think he's a good player and he's calm and he's not angry with the other players," Hunter said.
In addition, his bedroom received a photo of a Laker-Celtics playoff game, a new TV, and a large graphic sticker of Rondo. He also received a new chair and bed, which are designed to relieve pressure points.
"I know [Loeys-Dietz syndrome is] affecting me, but I don't let it get to me," Hunter said.