Amanda and Matt Roth have never been ones to take things slowly.
“It’s all been fast-paced,” Amanda says.
They’re not exaggerating.
Even their twin boys arrived much quicker than anticipated. Now five years old, Jaydon and Braydon were born at just 24 weeks and weighed around 600 grams each.
“His (Matt’s) wedding band fit around the largest part of the leg and the arm,” Amanda says, indicating how small the boys’ tiny limbs were.
Born 33 hours after his brother, Jaydon suffered a brain bleed shortly after birth, which eventually led to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy.
He doesn’t walk and has limited use of his right hand, but the spirited young boy with an infectious squeal gets around the house by scooting around on his bottom.
Jaydon uses a wheelchair the rest of the time, but the family’s home isn’t accessible and it has become a safety issue trying to get him and his wheelchair into the home.
“We make do, right? Because you have to,” says Amanda, who adds that the lack of accessibility in the home limits Jaydon’s independence as well.
Her words are all too familiar to Cindy Eberth, who co-founded Accessibility Renovations for Kids (ARK), a newly registered charity that renovates and modifies home to make the lives of children with mobility challenges (and the lives of their families) just a little bit easier.
“It’s amazing how many families are out there that, like the Roths, are just making do. They figure out a way to sort of get by every day, but it is a lot,” says Eberth, noting many families lose an income as one parent will stay home to look after the child with a disability.
Amidst all the chaos of a move to their new home and the twins starting kindergarten, Eberth and ARK came forward to surprise the Roths with news the charity will begin building a wheelchair ramp and a new accessible bathroom in the family’s undeveloped basement this month.
“We were having such a rough day and it was just life-changing,” Amanda says through tears while talking about the day the family found out.
Eberth says some of the materials and labour have already been donated for Jaydon’s project, but that they are constantly looking for monetary donations as well.
The Calgary Children’s Foundation has pledged to match every dollar raised for Jaydon’s project up to $15,000, which Eberth says will go a long way.
“So anybody that would like to donate, every dollar raised turns into two,” Eberth says.
Though not part of Jaydon’s renovation plan, Eberth says that after meeting the family and seeing the home, ARK is also seeking donations for two lifts or elevators to install in the family’s home.
Construction on Jaydon’s project is expected to start later this month.
Donations can be made here.