Editor’s Note: In the spring issue of airdrielife we shared the story of Addison and Kadence Foley. We are following their story with a new slant – the people who are changing the lives of these young girls through a home renovation.
When family and friends of an Airdrie mom whose two daughters are facing a rare disease put out the call for support to help them retrofit a new home, their neighbours jumped at the call.
One leading the charge is Brent Fraser, owner of RockCreek Builders. RockCreek has been recruited to manage the project to retrofit an 1,870-square-foot bungalow in Woodside to meet the present and future needs of the Foley girls, Addison, 9, and Kadence, 12.
The lively girls are fighting Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), a disease that damages the nervous system and impacts mobility. As a result, their mom, Shanna Leavitt, has to renovate the home to include a lift, ramps and other modifications for equipment.
“We want to get this done and get [the family] enjoying [the home] as soon as possible”
“We build new homes and do big renovation projects and commercial construction, so we understand all the bits and pieces that go into it, as well as accessibility, which we do more in commercial,” says Fraser. “[The family] wanted someone to take ownership of the project, to make sure it gets put together.”
Fraser says that most of the work – which at press time was expected to begin at the end of April with an estimated three-month construction time frame – will be done with volunteers from the trades, with RockCreek itself doing its part gratis. “Just roll that money back into a wheelchair or something – something to make it easier for the kids,” says Fraser.
Although plans had yet to be finalized at time of interview, Fraser says that the work on the home is expected to be extensive.
“There’s quite a bit to the outside and there’s a full basement development, the interior pretty much has to be gutted and reworked, the exterior has to have ramps and lifts,” he says. “There’ll be an elevator inside and a lift in the garage.”
According to Fraser, the logistics of organizing volunteer labour is challenging, but, he says, “We want to get this done and get [the family] enjoying it as soon as possible. We’ve scheduled some pretty big jobs and tight time frames in the past. It’s a challenge and I’m always up for a challenge.”
Although it is hoped that grants will cover some of the costs, a GoFundMe campaign, I’m Possible, has been set up to collect donations to not only cover additional costs, but also create a fund that will help with additional potential expenses down the line.