Anonymous donor buys house for sisters with rare disease

A pair of Alberta sisters and their family are moving into a new accessible home, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.

See Full Article

The Leavitt family currently lives in a three-storey house in Airdrie, Alta.

But the sets of stairs are a challenge for Kadence, 11, and her eight-year-old sister Addison.

Both girls have a rare degenerative disease called Fredreich's ataxia, which is causing them to slowly lose function in their hands, feet and other muscles.

"It takes away their ability to speak, to swallow, to hear, to see," the girls' mother, Shanna Leavitt, told CTV Calgary.

Because of this, Kadence and Addison often have to use wheelchairs to get around, which means the family needs a more accessible place to live.

"We use a wheelchair when we go to the mall and stuff," Shanna Leavitt said. "It's hard if there's snow outside. And this is all new to us … so we're learning."

Hoping to help, family and friends contacted the Airdrie Angel program, a local initiative dedicated to helping community members in need.

Then, the anonymous donor stepped in.

The donor, who has asked not to be named, bought the family a bungalow that can be renovated so the sisters can get around.

When Shanna Leavitt received the news, she burst into tears.

"It's amazing how generous and how big people's hearts are," she said.

Contractor Scott Werenka is helping the family remodel the home.

Werenka estimates it'll take 1-4 weeks to complete the renovations. But he needs help from other tradespeople who can volunteer their time or money to get the job done.

"We're looking at every kind of trade you can think of to help out," Werenka said. "As (Kadence and Addison) grow, I want the house to grow with them."

The Leavitts say they need to install accessible doorways, new bathrooms and a new kitchen.

And the girls have an extra request of their own: "A big bedroom," Kadence said.

The Airdrie Angel organization is hoping to raise $250,000 for the renovations before the end of the spring.

The Leavitt family plans to move into their new house in April.

With files from CTV Calgary



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Missing Argentine submarine: Investigators say sound consistent with explosion heard

    World News CBC News
    Argentina's navy announced Thursday that a sound detected during the search for a missing submarine is consistent with that of an explosion – an ominous development in the hunt for the vessel and its 44 crew members. Source
  • U.S. firm helps spot online threat against Calgary high school

    Canada News CTV News
    A private company in Washington, D.C. that monitors social media and flags potential terrorism threats may have helped thwart a planned attack on a Calgary high school, CTV News has learned. The Tactical Institute, founded by Bob Dowling, a former FBI terrorism task force member, monitors social media around the clock on behalf of paying clients to flag potential threats to organizations and individuals. Source
  • 'Tears were shed': Ambulance detour allows patient to see the beach one last time

    World News CTV News
    A dying patient was granted one last chance to see the beach in Australia, thanks to a kind ambulance crew who agreed to grant her final wish. Paramedics Graeme and Danielle took a “small diversion” on their way to the palliative care unit at the request of the patient, according to the Queensland Ambulance Service. Source
  • Legal pot could see justice costs climb, not drop, Rachel Notley says

    Canada News CBC News
    Alberta's premier says she's worried that marijuana legalization could drive up policing and court bills her province cannot afford to pay. The justice system is already overburdened and enforcing new pot-related measures could make things worse, Rachel Notley warned in an interview with The Canadian Press. Source
  • Suicide bombing kills 8 in eastern Afghanistan

    World News CBC News
    An Afghan official says a suicide attack has killed eight people and wounded 17 in the country's eastern Nangarhar province. Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor, says the suicide bomber targeted a local police commander who was recently dismissed from his job. Source
  • Justin Trudeau to be honoured with Symons Medal in P.E.I.

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on P.E.I. today to receive the Symons Medal and give a lecture at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown. The event kicks off at noon with a performance by the Dream Catchers. Source
  • Robust winds knock out power to thousands in parts of Atlantic Canada

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX - Thousands of people in Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and New Brunswick were in the dark this morning after powerful winds blew through the region, knocking out power. NS Power says it was dealing with about 130 outages in areas spreading from northern Cape Breton to Bridgewater. Source
  • Myanmar, Bangladesh sign deal for Rohingya's return

    World News CBC News
    Myanmar and Bangladesh have signed an agreement covering the return of Rohingya Muslims who fled across their mutual border to escape violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state. Myanmar announced the agreement on Thursday, but provided no details on how many Rohingya refugees would be allowed to return home or how soon that might happen. Source
  • Myanmar, Bangladesh sign agreement on Rohingya refugees

    World News CTV News
    BANGKOK -- Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an agreement on Thursday covering the return of Rohingya Muslims who fled across their mutual border to escape violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state. Myanmar announced the agreement but provided no details on how many Rohingya refugees would be allowed to return home or how soon that might happen. Source
  • The Olympics have a host-city problem

    World News CBC News
    What was once seen as a sign of world-classness is now viewed by many as a sign of world-crassness. Cities around the world are no longer clamouring to host the Olympic Games. Last month, the residents of Innsbruck, Austria overwhelmingly rejected a potential bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics, joining a growing list of cities — including Boston, Rome and Toronto — that have recently decided against pursuing the Games. Source