Every HBF project is special and the crew and client often create lasting memories. That was definitely the case this year when volunteers built a ramp for a special little girl named Hattie.
Hattie is 4-years-old and one of her favorite activities is playing outside. She and her two-year-old sister, Shiloh, ride up and down their long driveway in their pink Jeep, chasing bubbles and playing with chalk. Hattie is confined to a wheelchair due to seizures and developmental delays. Both side effects of a rare chromosome disorder she was born with called 1q43q44 deletion syndrome.
As Hattie grew, her parents faced a daily challenge of carrying both her and her 45-pound hot pink wheelchair down the steps in the garage. The steps had to be navigated each time they set out for preschool, doctor’s appointments, activities or even a trip to the grocery store. Hattie’s mom, Abby, began to dread the daily outside play time Hattie and Shiloh enjoyed so much because it meant another trip down those stairs.
Hattie Meets the HBF
When Abby learned about HBF, she immediately completed HBF’s intake evaluation and was thrilled to hear that HBF former board chair Bill Wood had volunteered as Project Captain. Abby and her two daughters excitedly watched as a group of volunteers from 3 Trees Design & Drafting and Urban Lights built and installed the ramp on a hot August day.
As soon as the project was completed, Hattie and Shiloh tried out the ramp. As Hattie was wheeled easily from the house to the yard, she waved her arms excitedly and grinned, while Shiloh giggled and skipped by her side. And Abby felt a huge weight lift from her shoulders knowing she would no longer have to face the physical challenge of lifting her daughter and her wheelchair every time they left the house.
With the barrier of the stairs removed, Hattie and Shiloh are able to enjoy more outdoor play time and routine trips to schools, appointments and the store have become much more manageable for all. Check out page 7 in the “Life at Ken Caryl” to see Hattie’s recently completed ramp!
“This ramp has greatly increased Hattie’s freedom and independence,” Abby said, adding, “We are so grateful to everyone involved! Everyone who worked on the project was incredibly kind, generous and positive,” enthused Abby. “They made us feel like this was their most important project and took time to get to know the girls.”