For one family in south Regina, opening the door to their newly renovated home also opens doors for their daughter’s independence.
Vienna Kennedy, eight, has a syndrome called Arthrogryposis which causes mobility issues and makes it necessary to move with a walker around her family’s home.
Over the summer, a contractor initially hired to do a quote on a bathroom renovation decided to do a little more when he saw their situation. Derek Wu at Collaborative Contracting and Brandon Fuchs at Superior Contracting decided to found an organization called Build Love to provide a complete home renovation for the Kennedy family.
On Wednesday, Liana, Jared and Vienna explored their home for the first time in two months, describing it as perfect and so much more than they ever expected.
“We can’t believe all the thought and the attention to detail – they’ve just thought of everything,” Jared said.
It’s the thoughtful little details of accessibility that mean the most, from the desk that moves up and down to the accessible bathroom opening on to her that they wanted to take a family picture in.
“I think sometimes we take for granted the simple things that we can do and are able to do and we look forward to her being able to do some of those on her own,” Liana explained.
She described things like using the bathroom on her own or getting something from her room or kitchen as examples.
“It’s always exciting to be able to do some things on your own, and I think it brings us great joy when Vienna just says ‘I can,’” Liana said with a laugh as Vienna chimed in.
For Fuchs, this first project shows how people can unite for one good cause to create positive change in the community. He described the support as insane.
“We’ve had over 50 subcontractors involved with this project. At any given time there could have been almost 20 to 30 people working inside this home every day seven days a week,” he said.
Liana said they feel so loved by the community and people involved.
“That’s been the best part of this journey, just the grace that we have experienced through this – this unmerited favour. People that we don’t know giving so much, we’re so, so grateful,” she said, with tears in her eyes. “It’s hard not to see the fingerprints of love in every single thing here.”
She added they hope to get involved as volunteers on the next project for Build Love to give back to other families.