Build #66 - An Accessible Home for the Ford Family
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY WINDSOR-ESSEX INC.
When Charmaine and Melody Ford welcomed their adopted son Dakota they had created their dream family, poised for financial success with Charmaine’s role as a trained nurse and director. Within months of Dakota’s birth, however, things quickly changed direction when he became intensely ill. Diagnosed with an extremely rare autoimmune disorder, suffered by only five other people world-wide, Charmaine and Melody had a fight on their hands to ensure their son would survive and thrive in a world where every encounter with food or food contamination resulted in life threatening reactions. Twice they almost lost this battle.
When their second son Kaleb was born his birth was not typical and there were complications which adversely affected Melody’s health. Things went from difficult to dire within the first four months after Kaleb’s birth when he became gradually more ill each day and Melody’s body progressively failed her. The odds seem impossible, however, Melody and Charmaine soon received the news that while Dakota and Kaleb were not related by blood, astoundingly, they shared the same rare autoimmune disorder. To most families this diagnosis might have seemed insurmountable, to the Fords it was a miracle. The two boys would be raised sharing the same affliction – destined to share a home, family and amazing parents who had already become proficient caregivers.
Unfortunately Melody did not regain her health following the birth, in fact, her condition deteriorated and has left her confined to a wheelchair and using a cane on very good days to try to maintain mobility. Charmaine has now become the full time caregiver to her family whose medical needs takes priority over her career.
What will a Habitat Home mean for the Fords? A dream long since forgotten. Melody will be able to move safely and freely in an accessible home designed to meet her needs and allow her to care for herself and her family without fear of falls and trip hazards. The boys will be free from the worry of contamination in their brand new home – food will never have touched a surface without Charmaine and Melody’s knowledge. That sense of security and well being is priceless. Health of their family no longer in question, the Ford Family will be able to put down roots and focus on their lives together and the future for their happy family.