A Porch & Ramp for Brenda



A Porch and Ramp for Brenda 

I have modified our fundraiser to the amount of $5000 to build a larger porch with a ramping system for Brenda. Because of the height of the entrance door and the building code required for the ramp pitch, a good amount of material will be necessary, thus the goal amount.

The story below has not changed. What's changed is the timeline in which an accommodation for Brenda must become a reality. Brenda continues to struggle with the steps, and the weather is now a consideration for getting this project done.

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I have watched my 53 year-old daughter-in-law Brenda graciously contend with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis since she was diagnosed in 2002 at age 41. This is the worst type of MS. Despite being under the care of a neurological and specialist team at the University of Michigan Medical Center, there are no current medications or effective treatments available to stop the progression of this type of MS. Care is provided for related health issues while hope holds for a breakthrough on treatments that are still in the testing stages.

Brenda is gradually losing her independence as parts of her body  continually weaken from this disease. She has chronic pain in both legs and right arm. She has impaired vision. Neuropathy and weakness in her feet, legs and hands increasingly hinders her ability to do simple tasks such as bathing, dressing or preparing meals. She is still able to walk short distances from a chair to the table or the bathroom with the assistance of a walker. More often, however, she is relegated to a wheel chair or a scooter due to increasing limitations.

Despite this slow debility, Brenda has maintained her great sense of humor and a positive attitude. Christopher, her husband, our son, has been very attentive, loving, and supportive of Brenda and the challenges they both face with this disease.

On the upside, Brenda and Chris recently purchased a new modular home in a park near my Norm and I.  This has been an uplifting blessing for them as it’s a place they can call their own, with more room for Brenda to maneuver in.

However, it requires climbing 6 steps to gain entry to the home. This is very difficult for Brenda, and requires assistance in foot placement by another person to make it up and down as she hangs on the railing. This will be very difficult in the upcoming winter months, and beyond as the weaknesses progress.

The original fundraiser amount was for a garage. That is no longer possible. Also, we learned that the MS Society would only contribute towards a brand new lift that costs more than double the amount of the slightly used one already lined up. 

Consequently, it was decided that building a larger porch with a ramping system was a more viable solution to Brenda's more immediate needs.

Because Brenda and Chris are a one-income family, with ever-increasing health issues and medical bills, they cannot afford the full cost of the porch and ramp in addition to their new home. Chris currently works odd jobs to supplement their income while saving towards this project as well. But time is now a significant concern.

Please help make it possible for Brenda to maintain some independence and mobility for a long time to come.

Thank you,
Gail

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Organizer

Gail Hucal Meloche 
Organizer
South Lyon, MI
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