A gift of I can: Build Love reveals accessible Regina home

A gift of \I can:\ Build Love reveals accessible Regina home
Fingerprints of love: Volunteers transform 8-year-olds home to be more accessible
A family, whose eight-year-old daughter deals with mobility issues, was welcomed back home Wednesday morning after a major home renovation.

Vienna Kennedy has a congenital muscle syndrome, which sometimes makes it difficult for her to get around.

Her parents, Jared and Liana Kennedy knew they would need to make some modifications to their home to accommodate Vienna, but the price of the renovations wasnt cheap. When local contractors hear about the Kennedys situation, then jumped in to help, spawning the "Build Love" project.

There were some extreme challenges inside the home, as it (has) concrete internal walls, Brandon Fuchs, Build Love co-founder said. All the contractors, no matter what challenge, came up, we looked at it, solved it and moved on.

Three months after construction began, the home is now complete. The project saw a full exterior renovation with an accessible ramp and doors.

They just thought of everything, Jared Kennedy said. Even the island is at her level, but moves out of the way. The desk moves up and down.

The layout of the home was also updated, to make it easier for Vienna to move around and access closet space, the bathroom and kitchen features.

Everywhere you look, you can just see the fingerprints of love here and every detail. (They) have done the big things and the little things, and its amazing, Liana Kennedy said.

This Sunday will be a busy day at Evraz Place, with three events scheduled within a few hours of each other.

It was a sleepless night for the Kennedy family as they prepared to see how their Regina home had changed.

"So excited," said a near-breathless Liana Kennedy, as she and her husband, Jared, and their eight-year-old daughter Vienna waited to go inside the home that has been under renovation for months as part of the first-ever Build Love project.

Vienna Kennedy has a congenital syndrome which gives her mobility challenges. Her bedroom and bathroom were narrow and hard to get to with her walker. When they bought the home, Liana and Jared expected they had a lot of work on their hands.  

When the Kennedys reached out to some builders to get quotes, Brandon Fuchs with Superior Contracting and Derek Wu with Collaborative Construction found themselves moved by the family's story. They began figuring out the logistics of completing the work through donations and volunteer hours.

Fuchs said they received an "insane amount of support," with people volunteering their efforts, seven days a week, to create a more accessible home for Vienna.

"For me, this day means an opportunity for change in our community," said Fuchs, promising there were more plans ahead for future Build Love projects in Regina. "It shows how we can unite for one cause and give an amazing gift for the Kennedys."

As the construction vans moved aside on Wednesday morning, Liana inhaled with surprise at the renovated house.

As the family walked in, they expressed disbelief at the nearly unrecognizable home. Walls had been removed and Vienna's bedroom and bathroom were expanded to become more accessible.

They also marvelled over smaller details, like a desk for Vienna that could be elevated, or a kitchen counter at her level that could be folded up and down to make more room, or pictures that showed the family together. 

"Unbelievable. It's too good for us," said Liana. She turned to the builders, and her voice caught on a sob, as she thanked them.

"Everywhere you look, you can just see the fingerprints of love here. Every detail. You've done the big things and the little things, and it's amazing."

She said the new changes would allow Vienna an independence that some might take for granted, things like being able to use the washroom on her own, or being able to get something from her room for herself.

Her mother just nodded, with an ear-splitting grin, and said, "Yeah. It's pretty exciting."  

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