Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I'M BACK! :) Chandler's Story!

Hey everyone!

I know it's been a while since my last post. I decided that I will start it back up again for my upcoming summer vacation! And of course to just keep everyone updated in the life of Katie.

I want to start out this blog with something very important. We are currently in the process of raising money for my little brother in order to buy him a lift for my mom's van. Please take the time to read his story! If you are able to donate, that's awesome! If not, that's ok too, I just ask that you PLEASE share his story. It is truly amazing. Here is the link:

 Currently he uses a car seat. This one is for up to 175 pounds, but he is so tall that it's starting to not be comfortable for him. Also, my mom has to lift him from his wheelchair to his car seat.
After she is done lifting him, she has to lift his wheelchair into the back of her van. Most of the time, she has to do this alone. I really don't know how she does it! Eyen and I had a hard time putting it in there when there were two of us!!

Our goal is $10,000. I know that may seem like a lot for a lift, but the lift is just the most important thing (top of the list) for his needs right now. There are other things that we need to do. Right now we have a make shift ramp from our porch to the ground. My step-dad made it himself. It gets the job done, but since it's wood it has already started to warp because of the rain.

As you can see from the photos, we make it work, but we could definitely use a concrete ramp and walkway. Right now we just wheel him on the ground, which is ok when it isn't raining. I never realized how difficult it was to wheel him through the rain until this past week when I had to experience it first hand. I was very sad that my mom had to go through this on a regular basis.
 This is the distance from our front porch to where my mom parks her van.
 Even a few days after the rain stops, the drive still has mud.

 You can see his wheelchair tracks in the mud. We don't want to pave our whole driveway, just a ramp and sidewalk would be great.

Some people might wonder "well why doesn't she just back her van up to the porch." Yeah, that could work when my mom is the one taking him every where, but he attends school every weekday, and the school bus cannot back up to the porch. Regardless, my mom or step-dad have to wheel him out to the driveway every morning. Sidewalks are not expensive to construct, so we are hoping we will raise enough money to cover the whole cost of it.

Another area that needs attention is the bathroom. My mom's house has 2 bathrooms, 1 in the front of the house and 1 in the back (near Chandler and my mom's rooms). Currently, Chandler's chair for showering is in the front bathroom because it is the only bathroom with a shower and not just a tub. My mom has to carry him through 4 or 5 different door panels just to get him to the shower. For those who don't know him, he is a big boy! About 4'8"! My mom is barely 5'0" herself. This is a difficult task. Plus, the chair itself barely fits in the shower.

As you can see, the chair is very large, and the shower is very small. We need to convert the other bathroom into Chandler's own bathroom. My mom can store all of his shower needs as well as his chair there. Here is what the bathroom looks like.
If accepted into the Waiver program, Chandler should have help with this project. But we aren't sure all the expenses would be covered. We need to remove the bathtub and put a drain in the floor. His chair will be able to fit where the tub used to be. We will move the toilet and purchase a smaller sink, so there will be more room. This can be Chandler's own shower room with all of his feeding supplies as well.

There are a few smaller projects we need to complete for his as well. Since he is doing so much better now, he will get to move back into his old room. Right now it is overrun with boxes of his supplies. We will need some type of shelving or storage units for those things. Fortunately for him, he does receive some assistance, so he will be getting a new bed soon!
This is a photo of his room. We have it decorated with superheros because he is our superhero!!

There are other things he will need in the future, but right now we are focusing on one thing at a time. First, we will try and get the lift as soon as possible. That is really our top priority. He needs to be safe whenever my mom needs to take him on the long drives to his doctor's appointments. She lives in a small town and has to drive about 250 miles to his doctor appointments. Second, we want to make my mom's life easier by constructing a concrete ramp and walkway. This will prevent any injury from occurring in the rain, and it will hopefully keep Chandler out of the mud! Lastly, we need to reconstruct his bathroom to make it more safe and closer to his room.

I really hope everyone will share his story. He means a lot to me and my family, and I want to make sure he is as comfortable as possible. Once you read the story, you will understand his situation so much more. Please take the time to read, donate, and share.

Stay tuned for my blog about our recent trip Branson, Missouri for Spring Break!