December 11, 2015 8:06 pm
Updated: December 12, 2015 7:41 am

Anonymous ‘Angel’ buys special needs family new home

One anonymous stranger has set the bar high this season when it comes to giving after buying an Alberta family an entire house. Heather Yourex-West explains.


CALGARY – With just 2 weeks until Christmas, 11 year old Kadence and nine year old Addison are counting down the days.  This year’s holiday, however, will be bittersweet.  It’s the last Christmas they’ll spend in their current Airdrie home.

“I’m excited but I’m going to miss this house,” Kadence Leavitt said.

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In 2016, the Leavitt family will have to move because both Kadence and Addison are very sick.  Last year, their mother learned both of her daughters suffer from the same rare genetic disease.  Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA) is a progressive neuromuscular illness that only impacts one in 40, 000 children.  Symptoms begin in early childhood but quickly progress until children lose their ability to walk.

“With FA, not only does it take away the use of their legs, it affects their hands, it affects their speech, their eyesight, their hearing, their ability to swallow and the major one is a life shortening heart condition as  well,” says Shanna Leavitt, Kadence and Addison’s Mom.

Leavitt says with her daughter’s symptoms progressing she began to worry about their safety.

“Because we’re living in a two-storey house right now, I knew we needed to start looking at wheel chair accessible houses but I didn’t know how I was going to manage carrying two mortgages and do all the renovations required to make a new house ready for us.”

The Leavitt’s story has touched the hearts of many people in the community north of Calgary, including the Airdrie Angel program.

“It was one of those things, we couldn’t say, ‘No’, even though this this is a bigger request than we generally take on,” Matt Carre, the Airdrie Angel program founder said.  Carre says initially, they weren’t sure how  to help the Leavitt’s get a wheel chair accessible house but then the Airdrie Angels found an angel of their own.  An anonymous donor came forward, buying a house the Airdrie Angels will be able to renovate so that it meets the family’s need.

“Once that’s done, the Leavitt’s can move in!”

The house itself isn’t a gift.  Leavitt will buy the home after her current house sells but she says the gesture has lifted a huge burden off her shoulders.

“Huge!  This is such a big stress relief!  Now I can just think about what’s most important, these two little ones.”

The Airdire angels are now raising money to pay for the renovation.  They’re also asking for tradespeople to volunteer their time.  A Go Fund Me page has been set up to accept donations.  Tradespeople who can help should email:


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