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MEAD, Colo.-- A local family trying to make their home handicap-accessible for their son has run into some challenges doing the work themselves.
Isaac Crane, 5, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) when he was just months old. The genetic disease weakens the muscles and causes a loss of nerve cells.
"So when he was born, the muscles that he had are all the muscles he would ever have. They would never grow," said his father, Jeremiah Crane.
With the help of a drug called Spinraza, Isaac has lived much longer than doctors expected. He just started kindergarten, loves cooking in the kitchen with his mother and adores playing with his little sister. But he faces challenges no 5-year-old boy should have to experience.
"He is doing so well but that doesn't change the fact that he depends on a ventilator to breath, he can't swallow, he can't speak, he can't cough," said his mother, Jenna.
Isaac also can't walk and recently got his first power wheelchair.
But with narrow doorways and an old foundation, the 110-year-old home in which his family lives wasn't built for his needs.
"The biggest problem we had was the bathroom. We couldn't even get into the bathroom with him and his handicap-accessible stroller, and a nurse to transfer him into the bathtub," Jeremiah said.
The family says the current market made it impossible to sell their home and purchase a handicap-accessible one.
With dad's experience as a contractor and the help of a designer, they decided to renovate the home.
Now they realize it's much more than a one-man job.
"When we first started looking at the project and it was on paper, it is completely different than when we put a shovel to the ground," Jeremiah said. "We are going to have to stop the project at some time because we will run out of money. "
The old home's foundation couldn't handle any new construction. They had to lift the home and reestablish the foundation to begin renovating a bedroom and bathroom for Isaac.
"It's amazing to see what our school has done, what our church has done. It's taken us to this point where we are able to start the project," Jenna said.
The family is committed to doing everything they can to make Isaac's life a little more normal.
Jeremiah believes with a little help they could finish the home in six to eight months.
"It would get us back into a house where he can be comfortable, safe grow, life and spend the rest of his life," Jeremiah said.
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