Stair Lift for Christopher

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE!!!!  ****MARCH 27TH **** UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE!!!!


Yep! March 27th (Tomorrow, as I write this), we're scheduled for the installation of the new stairlift! All thanks to YOUR generosity and care!

Pics to follow as soon as we're done...so, maybe not till Thursday, but WATCH THIS SPACE! WOO HOOO!

Thank you, everybody!

Bill, Becky, Cody, Kacey & especially Christopher!

(Dig these righteous mutton chops Chris grew to celebrate!)

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[older posts]




UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE!!!!  ****DECEMBER 19TH **** UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE!!!!

13 Days, 94 Shares, 48 Donations (!!), 12 UPDATE!!(s), including 1,476 words, 5 Pictures, 1 Video, and a TON of love and encouragement, and we are FULLY FUNDED as of this afternoon!


We’ve already started contacting stair lift companies to get bids on installation and timeframes for when the job could be done!

All thanks to YOU & your likes, shares and reposts! We wish we could reach out to each and every one of our donors, and all of you like-ers, share-ers, and repost-ers and give you guys a big hug. Thankfully, that’s a real possibility for a lot of you! We have been BLOWN AWAY by the outpouring of care and encouragement from everyone. Our caseworker for Chris paid a regular house visit just yesterday and her eyes about bugged out when we told her how the campaign was going! BLOWN. A- WAY!!!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU ALL!!!

FYI – The little green bar won’t show it, because the final gift we received that closes the gap between the $12,875 (!!! IKR?!) and our original $15,000.00 goal is coming to us directly, but we wanted to mention that we are turning off donations, since we’ve met our goal and know, based on initial bids coming in now, that we’re able to move forward. HOWEVER…

WATCH THIS SPACE! We plan to post occasional updates to the site here to report progress and hopefully some pictures to let those of you who aren’t local to us know just what your money helped us purchase. WE thank you all again! CHRISTOPHER thanks you! We are blessed beyond anything we could ask or even think at the generosity we’ve experienced these past two weeks (two WEEKS!...WOW!).

Anyway, I’m effusing…So, sooo thankful!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! And the Happiest of New Years to Everyone!

Sincerely,

Bill, Becky, and Christopher

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Christopher is 34 and uses a wheelchair to get around.  We are Bill and Becky Burns, of Olathe, Kansas. My wife and I have cared for Chris as our own since he was placed with us through a private non-profit agency when he was 18 years old. He's the sixth special needs placement we've had in our home since we began doing this sort of "Supported Family Living" caregiving way back in 1991, after beginning our marriage caring for kids in emergency and long-term group homes in Greater KC area about 1989 (even before we were married!). 

We're seeking to raise the funds needed to replace our now-defunct stair-lift that we got on a grant years ago. That's what your donations will help us to do. We estimate that replacement will run about $15,000 since the original lift we got on the grant back in 2001 was about $10,000. Each stair glide/lift is custom-built to fit the home it goes into. So there's some design that goes into these things. And it's medical in nature, which guarantees they're pricey. All funds received will go toward the order, design, installation and/or maintenance for the new lift.

Way back in the beginning, the state of Kansas and our placement agency helped us get a stair lift to get him safely up and down from his bedroom on the second floor of our two-story home. The lift is custom made for our house's two short flights (up about seven stairs, a landing, a 180 degree turn, then another short flight to the top). The thing is kinda ugly, but it worked beautifully for the first decade of service, getting Chris upstairs and downstairs safely. But after at least ten years daily use, it was starting to get cranky.

At first, we could call the manufacturer and get parts for the repairs. Then they pulled out of the United States. Another company took over maintenance though. Pretty soon however, they also sold out of the business and so we found a guy or two...handyman types who managed to get it running again when it broke down. That worked pretty well, as long as there were parts available...or a good handyman. As the years rolled on, parts, and handymen have disappeared. Parts are unobtainable. We've lost contact with the handyman types we've had work on this before.

So for the last year and a half...probably closer to two years, we've been carrying Chris upstairs and downstairs every day and night on our shoulders, fireman style. Mrs. B is 5'2". And while we're not saying we're old, we're not getting any younger and Christopher isn't getting any lighter (~130lbs). 

My knees and back (not to mention Mrs. B's) are not what they used to be when we first got Christopher. And really, it's just not very safe to be carrying Chris, who also has seizures, on our backs up and down a full flight of stairs. It's fine if we (God forbid) ever have a fire, but it shouldn't be the day to day method for getting up and down the stairs. Just like the stair lift, we're going to break down too, eventually. Hopefully not when we're at the top of the stairs some morning or evening with Chris on a shoulder.

SO, we have asked for help from the state, and the placement agency we work with to care for Christopher. There's no repairing it anymore. The state just denied a repair request.

An immediate way to fix things is to setup a bed in the living room on the main floor. But that means Chris has no real privacy anymore.

Ideally, with your help, we can get a new stair lift. It's really the only way to get maintenance, too, since the companies that are still around in the business only work on the ones that they sell and install themselves.

Can you help us continue to care for Chris for the next five, ten, fifteen years? If so, show your support and chip in toward our goal.
  • Anonymous 
    • $300 
    • 34 mos
  • Michelle Messer 
    • $25 
    • 34 mos
  • Mary Ann Burns 
    • $50 
    • 34 mos
  • Jennifer Broderick  
    • $100 
    • 34 mos
  • Peter Griffith 
    • $400 
    • 34 mos
See all

Organizer

Bill Burns 
Organizer
Olathe, KS
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