An Invitation to Community
This post is continued from yesterday and is an invitation from Sue and Talley:
I’d like you to meet the Bowie family—Heather, aka Supermom and serious blogger with a slight addiction to frappacinos; Garreth, Dad, gifted Irish cabinet maker who now shares more of his giftedness as an LNA; Liam, resident funny adolescent with an insatiable reading appetite; and Aidan, giggling social boy who rocks the drums and his power wheelchair through the halls of the Knowlton School.
Aidan also has a significant developmental disability and complex motor control issues that have made mastery of things like walking, eating, and drinking exceedingly challenging. Aidan does not speak aloud, but communicates through pictures on his iPad. Though he walks with assistance for limited distances, he uses his power wheelchair for independence.
The Bowie family might be considered by some to be an inspiration, and they are (Heather reaches out to help others get family needs met). But they don’t see themselves that way. They live quite simply in the midst of these materialistic times, and strive to maintain balance in their lives and authenticity in their relationships, all while taking care of Aidan’s very complex needs.
In March of 2013, Aidan will need to have surgery to correct the alignment of his hips; soon after, he will have to have spine surgery to rectify the curve of his back. He will need to be completely non-weight-bearing for 6 weeks. While this might be manageable for a family who lives in a grandly spacious home, the Bowies home is currently not accessible to Aidan when he is in his power wheelchair. He must leave the wheelchair at the door and be assisted throughout the house to execute daily activities of living like having dinner, hanging out with his family in the living room, and going to bed. Currently he cannot use the bathroom in his home for showering or toileting because the size and configuration present safety concerns. Even this level of assisted mobility will not be possible following Aidan’s upcoming surgery.
Jason Lajeunesse, of JDL Design Build (www.jdlbuild.com), has generously donated his time and resources to design plans and complete the permitting for this addition. He has estimated that it will cost $75,000 to make the Bowie’s home completely accessible for Aidan and maintain the basic needs for living space for this family. We are seeking in-kind donations of materials from companies and monetary donations to help with this project. Our vision is that the community will come together in a powerful way and that along with the sweat equity of the friends and family that love them dearly, this project will be completed by the time Aidan comes home from the hospital in March.
Sue Adler and Talley Westerberg
I will share my reaction with you tomorrow….