Jose, a 17-year-old boy with Cerebral Palsy in Greenville County, has been in a wheelchair his entire life. In order to enter and exit his home, his mother, Violetta, has had to carry Jose up and down steps on the front entrance, making daily transportation extremely difficult and putting herself and her son at risk for injury.
A teacher at Jose’s high school wanted to help improve his accessibility at home and referred his family to Rebuild Upstate after hearing about the services we provide. Rebuild Upstate gladly took on this project, and with the help of volunteers from the Parker Fire District (PFD) we spent a Saturday morning building a much needed ramp for Jose and his mother.
Over the course of the entire workday, Jose sat at the door in his wheelchair, amazed as he watched the work taking place. Inspired by the Firemen’s actions, Jose helped to hand out beverages to the volunteers, and even wanted to build a ramp himself. Fashioned out of blocks and push pins, Jose proudly made a miniature replica of his new ramp.
This was the second project that firefighters from the Parker Fire District have participated in with Rebuild Upstate this year. Zack Coats of the PFD said, “Even though we get called to help in the community everyday in our jobs, it is always refreshing and nice to come just as a friend, and to leave a different kind of impact with neighbors in the community.
With the addition of the wheelchair ramp on their home, Violetta will be able to continue taking care of her son from the comfort of their home without fear of dropping him or harming herself.
“At the end of it all, I just enjoyed seeing the family take in how much this was going to change their everyday lives. It was obvious they were relieved,” Coats added.