An Airdrie woman whose daughters were recently diagnosed with a degenerative disease is thanking an anonymous donor for providing an accessible home for them to live in.
Shanna Leavitt's daughters Kadence, 11 and Addison, 8, both have Friedreich’s Ataxia, a disease that leads to impaired muscle coordination.
The disease can affect hands, legs, eyes and even speech and the girls will eventually need wheelchairs to get around.
The family’s current home has too many stairs and isn't wheelchair accessible so Shanna was getting concerned about how they would manage in the future.
“It’s difficult, like even going out. We use a wheelchair when we go to the mall and stuff and getting there and thinking, well I’ve got to park and I’ve got to pull out the wheelchair and get her in it. It’s hard, if there’s snow outside and this is all new to us, it’s all new so we’re learning,” said Shanna.
After hearing about the family's situation from the Airdrie Angel Program, a donor purchased a bungalow for the trio to make moving around a little easier.
Scott Werenka is a general contractor and he has taken on the task of making the home accessible.
Werenka says the inside of the home needs to be gutted and outfitted with everything from accessible doorways and bathrooms to a new kitchen.
The plan is to have the home equipped by the end of spring so the Leavitts can move in at the end of April.
Shanna will be taking on the mortgage payments once they move in, but Werenka is working closely with the Angle progam to make sure everything else is taken care.
“We’re looking at every kind of trades you can think of to help out financially, time-wise, supplies, anything they are willing to give to help the program move forward,” said Werenka.
The organization is hoping to raise $250,000 for the renovations.
To get involved in the project, contact the Airdrie Angel Program HERE.
(With files from Jamie Mauracher)