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CM Cares reaching new heights

My 1, 2013

Standing in the mud, watching an 80-ton crane lift a wheelchair swing into place, it is very apparent that these students are fully invested in their project.

What started as improvements to increase backyard accessibility and mobility around the house for James and Libby, 11-year-old twins with Cerebral Palsy, has expanded to include not only the state-of-the-art wheelchair swing but a raised sandbox, automatic doors, and specialized bathroom amenities. “It’s amazing what this group of students has done for our family,” said the twins’ mother, Katie Waechter. “It’s a new level of freedom that they’ll get to have. A big ‘thank you’ to the CM Cares group for giving our kids this piece of independence.”

Amazing is a perfect descriptor for the sight of the giant crane parked on the quiet residential street outside the twins’ home. “We constructed the swing in the Industrial Sciences Lab at CSU with the help of Mike O’Reilly, the Structures professor,” said Kyle Snow, the project’s student leader. “GE Johnson Construction donated the use of the crane for the day so that we could put it in place, and we thank them for their support.”

Excitement was painted on the twins’ faces as they sat on their new deck and watched the swing settle gently onto its supports before being cemented into the ground. “It’s gonna be fun,” said Libby. “They built this for us and it’s just exciting.” When asked by a local news reporter if she thought the swing would mean her friends would want to play at her house all the time, Libby’s response was a big smile and a confident, “Yes.”

“What these students have done is above and beyond what they are required to do,” said Tom Bell, project manager at ISEC, Inc., the main industry sponsor of the James and Libby project in the CM Cares program. “As an alumnus of CSU’s CM program, it’s an honor to work with these students and for this initiative.”

CM Cares

The James and Libby project is one of three projects currently underway in the CM Cares program. The AJ Project involves home modifications for a nine-year-old boy with limited mobility, and the Brinks Project includes bedroom and backyard modifications to the home of a teenage boy with autism. All three are slated for completion at the end of the spring semester in three weeks and will conclude with project presentations by the student groups on Wednesday, May 15.

Further details on all the projects are available in the CM Newsletter due out later this summer.

Contact: Natalya Weisgerber
Phone: (970) 491-0435