"To be chosen for this house means my daughter, who has a neuromuscular disease called Friedreich's Ataxia, can move around freely in her power chair. This house will let my daughter LIVE again and there are no words I can say on how very, very grateful I am for that."
The Meadow Hill development is the biggest project to date for Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island. A lot was purchased on Extension Road at the south end of Nanaimo for a six house strata, being built in three phases, two houses per phase. In February 2014, the 30,000 square foot lot was purchased for $290,000. The completion date for the Meadow Hill development was December 2017.
Phase 3, Unit 5 and 6 Groundbreaking ceremony took place on May 3, 2017. Unit 5 is a two-bedroom disability-accessible house. Pam and her daughter Kaitlyn were selected as the future homeowners.
At the age of 10, Kaitlyn was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease called Friedreichs Ataxia. She was a healthy girl, running, dancing and doing all that a young girl would do. Being a progressive disease that deteriorates the nerves, muscles and heart, Kaitlyn, at age 15 started using a manual chair and at age 18 was confined to a power chair. Although Pam was able to get a stair lift installed in her rental, it was challenging and exhausting transferring her daughter to the stair lift to go up and down the stairs. The bathroom where they lived was too small and Pam said, “It would be wonderful if my daughter could finally just wheel into a shower on her own.”
Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island is extremely excited to be building our first disability-accessible home. Our vision is a flagship accessible home which will facilitate freedom, independence, and comfort for our future homeowners. Accomplishing this objective will involve making substantial upgrades. Some of the upgrades include: a ceiling-mounted track system which allows smooth transitions from bed to chair to facilities; custom height switches and outlets; wheelchair accessible sinks, cooktops and work areas; touchless faucets; accessible bathroom facilities and appliances; and electronic home controls.
On November 23, 2017, after many days of rain, the sun shone brightly for the Dedication Ceremony for Unit 5 and 6 of the Meadow Hill development.
Pam and Kaitlyn are now working on their 500 sweat equity hours. The completion for the Unit 5 house was December 2017.