Tracy was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) when she was 26 years old. MS is a central nervous system disease that can cause a wide range of symptoms including fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms, and gait, vision and cognition issues. For years, Tracy managed her symptoms while working and raising two children. In 2014, she suffered a fall that left her unable to work and limited her ability to function independently.
After witnessing Tracy’s daily struggles, a family friend named Sean Dooley donated a stairlift and connected her with Accessible Systems, which specializes in residential lifts and elevator systems, for the installation. Nathan Colburn, one of Accessible Systems’ owners, recommended that Tracy complete an application for support from Home Builders Foundation (HBF), a Denver nonprofit that provides free home modifications that build independence and elevate lives for people living with long-term physical disabilities. Once HBF approved the application, Colburn signed on as the Project Captain to oversee the modifications to Tracy’s home.
“We’ve worked with HBF for 14 years and each project is so rewarding because we have the opportunity to make life as normal as possible for individuals who have suffered so much,” says Colburn. Accessible Systems installed two stairlifts, allowing Tracy to easily access the main level and the basement. Tracy expressed her gratitude through tears of joy during her first stairlift trip commenting, “Among other things, I can now do the laundry—which I actually enjoy—and contribute to my family.”
Chris Beasley, president and owner of Aspen Builders, which has been involved with HBF since 2008, served as Project Captain for the second phase of Tracy’s request—a bathroom modification. His team widened the doorway, converted the tub into an accessible shower with a pull-down bench, installed an accessible sink and changed out the flooring. Says Beasley, “Tracy was wonderful to work with, and it was immensely gratifying to see her wheel around the new bathroom with a huge smile on her face.”
Tracy is extremely grateful to HBF, Aspen Builders, Accessible Systems and the team that worked on the project, noting, “My quality of life has improved SOOO much. Thank you for being my guardian angels on Earth!”
HBF was founded in 1993 and has completed projects for more than 1,800 people across the Denver metro area—all free of charge to the client. Much of the work is donated by home builders, trades and skilled contractors.