Donations allow family to renovate home for girl in wheelchair

Donations allow family to renovate home for girl in wheelchair

EDINBURGH, Ind. (WISH) — A family in Edinburgh is receiving life-changing home renovations thanks to donations made by their community.

The Clawsons have a 12-year-old daughter who needs a wheelchair due to her medical condition. As Bria Clawson has grown, it has become more and more difficult for her family to move her around the house and other simple things.

Soon, they won’t have to worry thanks to the gracious donations of people within their small town.

For years, the Clawsons have been doing different renovations to their home to make it more accessible for Bria.

“She was born with a rare genetic disorder called CDKL5. It is a seizure disorder,” said Bria’s mom, Kelli Clawson.

Some of the home projects include adding lifts around the house, a handicap-accessible restroom, and removing walls so she can get around in her chair.

“You know with equipment and her bed and just medical needs, we just needed more space,” Kelli said.

Bria’s wheelchair can hardly fit in her room next to her bed, which makes it difficult for her parents to get in and out of her chair.

“She’s as tall as I am so just getting her in and out of places with her wheelchair is difficult,” Kelli said. “Safety is a huge issue. It is not safe for us to be carrying her anymore.”

Due to Bria’s condition her mom can’t work full time. For about a year, the Clawsons worked to raise money for the renovations. When local home renovator and real-estate broker Angela Kelsay heard about their need, she said she had to help.

“I have watched their story play out on Facebook and saw the struggles that they have dealt with and I always thought that if I had the opportunity to help that I would,” said Kelsay, who is the project manager.

Since Kelsay stepped in, in just a week and a half almost all the labor they need for the room add-on, the bathroom and deck renovation has been donated as well as some of the materials.

Kelli’s mom said, “We just want to give her everything we can to make her life better.”

With labor, materials and medical equipment, the project would cost the family an estimated $50,000. They say this renovation is going to be life-changing both for them and for Bria.

“It is a small town and when one of our own is in need we all pitch in and it has become so incredibly evident in this situation. It has really been amazing to watch,” Kelsay said.

The project manager says not only have different businesses been providing labor but local businesses also have been hosting fundraisers to donate to the cost of the projects.

Bria’s mom said, “Oh, my gosh, it is overwhelming. I just keep saying thank you isn’t enough.”

The family has been using the #BriasProject to document their journey.

They are still in need of some donations for material costs and to buy some equipment so that Bria can do her physical therapy and stretching at home. They hope to finish the project by summer.