Corynna is a facing Mitochondrial Disease, a life-changing illness with no cure that has confined her to a wheelchair. Prior to the building project, she was confined to a small bedroom upstairs with little room for family, let alone visitors. Because the disease affects her energy, a trip to the shower and the maneuverability it took to get there was extremely draining. If she wanted to spend time with the family, Sean or Kristi would have to carry her downstairs.
When Wolf first spoke with the Strawsers about building a room they didn’t get their hopes up and admitted to being leery. Kristi thought the project would get partially done and they would have to come up with the rest of the funds to finish. Upon completion, Wolf said the project was complete without any cost to the family; all of the materials and labor where either donated or purchased from cash donations. Corynna even received donations to help decorate the new room.
Kristi continued to express her amazement for the generosity of the community during the open house. The volunteers went far beyond her expectations. “They took pride in it,” she said. It took two weeks to make sure the shower was perfect and all of the woodwork was handmade and stained. She also noted there were a few times when they had to get the wheelchair to make sure the measurements were correct. Corynna’s old room was about 1/3 the size of the new room.
Although there were approximately 70 volunteers from start to finish the Strawser family was very active in the build. Wolf pointed out Sean was there every night after work to help on the project. He and Wolf were responsible for putting most of the siding and soffit on the outside of the room addition. The night prior to the open house, Sean was busy working on building and installing the handrail on the steps leading to the house.
Construction wasn’t limited to the new room. A couple of people noticed the front porch was in need of repair and offered their services.
What is Corynna’s favorite part of the room? “There is so much room for all of my make-up,” she said. With all of the medical equipment needed in her upstairs bedroom the lack of space caused her to stop doing her make-up.
She admits she felt trapped in the other room. But now, “I love being in my room,” she said.
To the volunteers and persons who donated money, Corynna said, “They are gifts from God. Without everybody this wouldn’t be possible. They made it perfect for me.” She continued, “Everybody took their time. They took so much time out of their lives.”
Kristi agreed, “Saying thank you doesn’t seem enough.” She also gave a lot of credit to Wolf saying she couldn’t have pictured any one more capable of getting this done.
|Corynna Strawser welcomed visitors into her new room during an open house celebrating the volunteers and donations that made it possible. (Ryan Berry photo)|