For months Rachel Dickinson’s parents had kept a very big secret. Rachel knew that her basement was being remodeled for her, but she had no idea what that would look like or even feature. In April, the BATC Foundation, project partner Special Spaces and build partner Ispiri, welcomed Rachel to her brand new room.
“My parents would tell me that it looks good, but they wouldn’t tell me anything else. It’s amazing. I’m so excited to use it,” said Rachel.
Two years ago, Rachel experienced a series of health events that led to a diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease and a type of malformation of the spine. For more than two years, Rachel’s world had consisted of hospitals (her longest stay was 86 days), doc- tors and multiple surgeries. Because of her illness, Rachel is homebound much of the time and has missed a lot of school. One of the things that got Rachel through this tough time was creating art. Currently, she has very little space in her home to do art projects and has no space to store all of her art supplies.
“Before, if I wanted to do art I needed a lot of time in order to set- up and clean-up. Now I have plenty of space to just pick up and create whenever I want,” said Rachel.
“This space turned out amazing, Ispiri has done a wonderful job making a truly special space for Rachel,” said Perri Graham-Raff, executive director, BATC Foundation.
Rachel’s new basement features a craft table, desk area, living room and plenty of storage space. The BATC Foundation and Ispiri were happy to be able to make a differ- ence in this deserving young girl’s life.
“For us this is just what we do ev- ery day. It’s great to be able to take those things and help someone who otherwise couldn’t have done this,” said Jason Fabio, Ispiri, LLC.
The project is a great example of all the heart in the housing industry. “When we asked people and our vendors and suppliers if they want- ed to help out, they all said yes right away,” said Fabio.
“So many people wanted to help, it was fun to volunteer our time and work together on this,” said Laurie Butler, of Ispiri.
While Rachel is doing well today, she still has many health issues she has to deal with. Her new space is not only something that she has been looking forward to for a long time, but a place she will enjoy for years to come.