Earlier this year, we went public with a very real need for our severely disabled eight-year-old son, Miles: a more accessible home. It has been our dream for nearly his whole life.
As some of you know, sweet Miles requires total care. It is a huge and at times exhausting job, but we’re committed to keeping him home, surrounded by his family’s bottomless love. Our 1770 house in Seacoast Maine is old and crooked–and awesome. It’s on a dead end, and it somehow manages to have a first-floor master bedroom for him. We want to stay here; to do so, we just need to make it more accessible for Miles, and easier for us as his caregivers.
We have a really cool unused part of our house: an old attached livestock barn. After doing some informal “feasibility studies,” we’ve determined that the most cost-effective way to add accessible space is to tear it down and rebuild it. This will provide a critically needed second bathroom with a walk-in shower for safe and easy bathing of Miles. It will also provide an ample 16′x23′ accessible great room that will allow him to slowly continue to learn to walk, as well as desperately needed storage space for all of his bulky equipment and supplies. We’ve gotten several bids on the job, and the price tag for the project is at least $100K.
Quite frankly, we have been loathe to ask for any financial donations just several years after our “village” rallied to get Miles a beautiful new accessible van. Instead, we have been planning to write, record and sell an album of offbeat lullabies, to defray our building costs. That will still happen.
But, last month, we met a builder who has changed the entire game for us.
Jason Lajeunesse, owner of JDL Building & Remodeling in Greenland, NH heard our story and decided to do something pretty amazing. After helping our friends the Bowies with their own accessible home addition for their son Aidan, Jason decided he wanted to once again donate his time as a general contractor, this time for our project. Anyone who knows the building trades understands how very generous this is.
Jason is also seeking contractors and vendors who are similarly willing to donate services and/or building materials. Already he has lined up an amazing number of them! Check our “Contributors” link on this site and be astounded. This BARN Project is taking on a life of its own, and we are so humbled that others want to help Miles by helping us to defray the many associated costs.
Volunteers and contributors are still needed for many items and jobs in the construction process. We will be thanking all of them publicly in the press and on our social media sites as part of our campaign.
Do you know anyone on the Seacoast who might help us?
Groundbreaking for the project is scheduled for October 19, 2013, right after Miles recovers from hip surgery. Come out and join us to celebrate with coffee and donuts at 10 a.m…you might even make it into the newspaper or on TV!
Stay tuned as Miles’ barn is rebuilt, accessible-style, with the help of many guardian angels. And thank you for joining our journey.