Nonprofit builds accessible bathroom for West Bloomfield teen with cerebral palsy
Molly McCullough has cerebral palsy and is non-verbal. She lives in her family’s West Bloomfield two-story home with her parents and her four siblings.
There was no accessible bathroom on the first floor of their home and it was becoming increasingly difficult for Molly’s parents, Scott and Kristen, to give her a bath or use the toilet since it meant carrying her up a flight of stairs to the small bathroom.
Macomb-Oakland Regional Center support coordinator Karen Hollingsworth, who visits the home monthly, helped the family find a way to build an accessible bathroom for Molly in the garage. Rebuilding Together had a budget of $2,000 for the project. Hollingsworth, who has worked for MORC since July 1972, said materials cost $1,300 and “donated” materials and labor was worth about $13,000.
The room is nine-feet by 10-feet with beautiful tile on the floors and walls. It also has a roll-in shower and a roll-in-shower chair that was donated for Molly’s use.
Quotes from home remodelers for an accessible bathroom were in the range of “$20,000 and above,” she said. However, Hollingsworth’s son-in-law, Chuck Riley, and her daughter, Becky, volunteer through “Rebuilding Together.”
An application was made to Rebuilding Together and a gift of $2,000 was approved.
Each department in the Home Depot store in White Lake Township gave discounts on materials and there was an additional corporate discount, she said.
“The original supply list was under $2,000 but when the discounts were applied, it was under $1,000.”
Volunteers included electricians, plumbers and other trade workers who installed everything for the bathroom, including drywall, insulation and extending heating ducts to warm the bathroom.
The 90-square-foot bathroom contains a shower that is six-feet wide and three-feet deep as well as a vanity, toilet and sink. Parts of the walls were reinforced so grab bars can be installed, if needed. The donated roll-in-shower chair would have cost about $2,000 if the McCullough family had to purchase one.
Hollingsworth noted that Molly is ecstatic with the new addition to their home. “Now that her new bathroom is done, Molly has had her first shower in it and loved it,” McCullough’s mother said.
Jerry Wolffe is the writer-in-residence, advocate-at-large for the Macomb-Oakland Regional Center. He can be reached at 586 263-8950.