My daughter, Grace Kelly Ligon, is an amazing, beautiful and intelligent 11 year old who has athetoid quadriplegic cerebral palsy since birth. Over the years, she has worked very hard in over 320 hours of physical, occupational therapies and approximately 100 hours of speech therapy annually to learn how to sit, hold things, crawl, speak clearly, swallow and chew better. Within the last two years, she has begun to walk in our home environment. It's a blessing, but not always safe as Grace can still very easily fall. In fact, last summer she fractured her thumb from a fall while trying to walk independently. Grace uses a walker for farther distances but mostly relies on her power chair to get around in places where there are crowds or many people. Currently, she cannot get her chair into our home which is a huge barrier to her safety and independence.
Grace is very smart and can use technology easily – computer, iPad, and a communication device. However, she requires assistance doing most physical things we take for granted, like getting dressed/fastening clothing, opening containers or bags of food, getting something to drink, taking a bath, getting in and out of bed, as well as entering and exiting our house and the accessible car. She requires some assistance eating, and also still requires help in the bathroom.
If you have children of your own, can you imagine doing everyday tasks with them 24/7? An adapted environment and assistive technology to make the most of her abilities and potential would change our lives and give Grace the foundation to grow and strive. As a single mom, I typically work all day and take care of Grace the remainder of the time. She still sleeps in my room because she is afraid if there ever was a fire she would not be able to get out of the house on her own ability. My biggest wish for her is to live a long, healthy, happy life – and to minimize her fears and anxieties. Please help us with the Extreme Home Makeover nomination process to enable Grace to have a safe environment where she can have the tools and space to be an independent individual.
Grace is getting bigger, heavier and will soon be a teenager. My mother lives with us and helps care for Grace. However, as my mother ages, her ability to help Grace continues to decline. Grace will need to be able to be home alone for short periods of time like other kids as she gets to be in her teen years. Currently it would be unsafe to leave her home alone – this requires respite or a babysitter all of the time when I am not able to be home.
We chose to live in Western Springs because the school district is excellent and Grace’s education is uncompromised. She is mainstreamed and she has made many great friends in the community. This is important because Grace and I have only 3 relatives in the area aside from my mom, but many, many friends that we love and care about. This is our circle of support.
Sometimes Grace gets frustrated about her disability, which is totally normal. I would love for her to have a home that lessens her frustrations and builds her independence. I continue to work to develop my career to try to afford all of her needs, but do not have the family or resources to have someone aside from myself be a caregiver for my daughter. Please help nominate us for an accessible home – it will change our lives
I am Truly Blessed by my child : and strive to satisfy her special needs. As a single parent I work full-time and provide insurance and all of her other supports. Most of my "free" time is equally crucial--spent working together with Grace directly, her teachers, aids, therapists or Doctors to aid/assist her development. I continue to help Grace work towards further development and independence – I have came to realize now is the time for an accessible environment.
Please help Grace get selected so the one place she spends most of her time is a haven for her – a place where she doesn't have worries. Thank you for your time and nomination.
||Many Heartfelt Thanks,