Back around the holidays, someone recommended we do a fundraiser to put in a lift for Max. He had hit a growth spurt and doubled his weight in a year. I could no longer safely move him, and Steve had injured his shoulder and back taking on all the extra transfers. I was hesitant at first to do a fundraiser, and to be honest, still have a hard time asking for funds, but this effort could not have happened without a fundraiser. I've had counsel from some of our very close friends and family about this issue, and they've all said along same thing...For years we've been waiting for you to give us a way to help out. This is how we can give to Max, because he gives so much to us. I don't think I can argue with that. I've had to put my own pride aside and just let it happen. And, boy oh boy, has it happened!
We had some friends who volunteered their time and resources to get all of the work done at cost and volunteered their time and skills to the effort for Max. There were times I stopped to think of how this is our village, Max's village. This village has come together in one form or another from all over the world to help him get the lift. It's so incredibly humbling. I find my throat gets tight and tears prick my eyes when I try to explain what it means to us. It just means everything. And I will likely never find the words to adequately express our gratitude.
With the fundraiser, we have been able to pay for the supplies for the lift and fitting out Max's new bathroom. Because Max moved us out of the master bedroom and master bathroom, we had to fix a place for us in the unfinished basement. We were able to do that with just the cost of supplies, most of which were donated by a local lumber company.
I've already written about how we did it for a week while construction was happening. We stayed in a apartment for a week during the dustiest parts of construction. While Max and I hung out, they were busy night and day at our house. Our friend, Rick, set up a few of his friends to do the tile work, and framing, and the fine work of replacing the wood floor, widening Max's doorway and trim. As people heard about what was happening, they would drop in to help out. Everyone from our favorite checker at our local grocery store, to volunteer crews from Home Depot. Painters put Max's favorite yellow on his walls, and some Batman blue too. People from Defy! gym, and neighbors all lent a hand. Everyone wanted to get it all ready for Max to get back home as soon as possible.
We were so very fortunate to have a couple of metal fabricators custom make a lift for Max. We already had the motor piece, so we really only needed the track system it works on. The guys worked on it each night after the busyness of construction had died down for the day. They were here sometimes until midnight, welding, hammering, and bolting Max's track to the ceiling, after working at their day jobs all day.
I guess this is really just an introductory blog to the construction. A great big thank you to everyone for lending a hand. I'm certain I'm leaving people out of this list, but I was not here to know every person who stopped by to help. There were so many, and every person who swung a hammer or wielded a paint brush has made Max's life a little easier. And we felt the love they had for our guy every step of the way.
I couldn't end this thank you blog without a thank you to each and everyone of our supporters who helped financially in this effort. Whether it was pennies from your piggy bank, or big checks, you made this happen. We couldn't have done it without your willingness to help. Thank you for giving of yourselves. For asking others to do the same. You made a huge difference in Max's life.