Variety, the Children’s Charity and the Renovators Council of the Manitoba Home Builders Association use all the tools in their toolbox to help rebuild a child’s life.
The opportunity to gain independence begins in childhood with practical supports in the home that include a kitchen to cook in or a safe place to hang out with friends. Having a disability shouldn’t exclude a child from having these experiences but it almost did for Delaney Kolowca. That is, until Variety, the Children’s Charity, and the Renovators Council of the Manitoba Home Builders Association, laid the foundation for a complete home renovation.
“Besides just giving her a basic bedroom and a bathroom that the government was giving us, Variety and the Manitoba Home builders are giving her a home that she can live in,” said Heather Kolowca, of her daughter, Delaney Kolowca, age 15.
Delaney Kolowca was a typical 14-year teenager and grade nine student last year. She loved playing sports, swimming, dancing and hanging out in the basement of her home with her friends. Unfortunately that all quickly changed with a recent surgery and resulting mobility challenges that have left her wheelchair bound.
Delaney was born with scoliosis and suffers from Gorlin syndrome and in 2013; she was diagnosed with numerous non-cancerous, but dangerous jaw tumors as well as basal cell carcinoma, or skin cancer. She ended up with 120 different skin cancerous lesions that required further surgery and the surgical removal of 17 jaw tumors. But after each surgery, Delaney was again, a typical active teen, playing volleyball and badminton, swimming and getting back into a regular routine until her scoliosis began affecting her mobility.
“She was losing sensation in her feet,” said Heather as she described how the scoliosis began physically impacting Delaney. Her doctor recommended surgery. “The doctor felt that if she had surgery, he had a 75% chance of making things better in restoring her sensation and her mobility, 20% of staying the same, and 5% of being worse.” Sadly, Delaney fell into the worse category and became paralysed from the mid chest down with a T-2-spinal cord injury.
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