It is difficult to sit idly by and watch a friend struggle. There were so many people that wanted to help – including me . . . but what could we do? We met regularly after the girls were diagnosed. We organized food, childcare, house cleaning. The generosity of people we knew and people we didn’t was (and still is) incredible.  We talked about Shanna’s needs and fears – for those that know her you know that she does not ask for anything.

We met in Shanna’s house and, as the months went by, it became more obvious how difficult it was for the girls to navigate their childhood home. The welcoming and warm home where they grew up (and still do not want to leave) was just one more obstacle to their independence. Kadence and Addison depend on their mom to navigate the stairs and falls in the small living and kitchen space are common – even bathing is more difficult. The pub style table wasn’t a safe place for family dinner anymore. Shanna is strong and mighty but the constant lifting was affecting her as well. And wheelchairs?? 2 of them??? Forget it.

It was a small miracle to find a bungalow in the same neighbourhood with 3 bedrooms on the main level and things were starting to come together. We had a donor willing to provide bridge financing, a realtor that would donate fees, an architect that would donate drawings and a general contractor to help organize at no charge.

Simple right?

Maybe for Ty Pennington. For a group of well-meaning friends and family with next to no budget, we have our work cut out for us.

To make this house safe for the girls we must:

  • Widen the hallways,
  • Create an accessible bathroom that includes a roll-in shower
  • Add an elevator lift to the lower level
  • Add lifts from the garage, as well as the front and back door,
  • Install cabinets that can be accessed from seated position,
  • Remove carpet

The architectural plans (a complete gut of the main level) are complete. As I write this we are 3.5 weeks away from possession of the bungalow that will hopefully mean a return of independence and an easier future for the Foley girls.

This week we will begin making calls to everyone who has already generously offered support. After that we will determine what work we still require assistance with. “The List” will be the subject of a post as soon as we have the information.

For those that reached out to help thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And please be patient with us. This is by no means our comfort zone, but we are determined to ensure this family lives their best life.

To donate, please visit our GoFundMe page. To volunteer time or materials, email ampossible@airdrieangel.ca.

Tanya Sitter

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