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Every now and then, you meet “that” person. The one that has faced incredible difficulties, and despite the everlasting circumstances, lives out an extraordinary life. I’d like to introduce you to “that” person.

Mariam Paré is an extremely talented artist whose paintings are created by brushes held in her mouth.

Updates (1)

August 29, 2021

House update from Mariam

Hello everyone, Mariam here!

First of all, I would like to send a big thank you to everyone who has donated or helped in some way towards our efforts in making my new home a home that I can live in. We have raised almost $7,000 and Jonathan and I are extremely grateful for your generosity! The Wikstroms, Dr. Stout, Hank Hurst, Keith Paul… I wish I could name everyone…. THANK YOU sincerely.

We feel this update is long overdue and have been wanting to reach out to everyone for quite some time now. Some unexpected health challenges caused a few weeks of delays, but my situation has improved greatly, and I am now eager and excited to update you all with what stages we are at in the planning process for the renovations.

When Jonathan and I started looking for a house, the housing market was -and has been, a very tough place for buyers. It was even more competitive for us due to the accessibility requirements that I had (i.e. the home had to be a single-story, no stairs, and preferably a large enough bathroom that we could remodel into an accessible one). So finding a home proved to be a challenge.

After months of looking at an insane number of houses and getting out bid on several, we were starting to feel like we were never going to find a place that would meet our budget and criteria. But finally we purchased this cute little 1,300 square-foot home in Naperville (see photos). While not immediately wheelchair accessible, it did meet most of our other requirements.

Jonathan and I closed on the house at the end of May, and started the informative and sometimes shocking process of getting cost estimates from prospective contractors. Several eye watering quotes later, we finally found a contractor who could do our project at a reasonable cost. A big thanks to the helpful assistance of Corey Staver of the David Corey Company and Jeff Eyles with Belfor USA.

With the guidance of Corey and our architect George, we drew up a new floor plan (see photos) that included an accessible master bedroom and bathroom with a roll-in shower, widened 36” doorways, and a ramp to enter the home. We feel confident we are making the best use of the square footage we have available to us.

Which pretty much gets us up to the stage we are currently at. We are now waiting for our final plans from the architect which should be completed this week. And then we will apply for permits, and hopefully start the remodeling process at some point soon.

I just wanted to add…

With all the added expenses associated with an accessible renovation (and having a disability in general), I would not have been able to afford this renovation on my own without taking on the massive costs as debt. I am grateful to have such wonderful friends, who saw my need, and knowing I have too much pride to ask, have come together in this way to start this campaign to help me raise the money to do this renovation.

It would mean a lot to me if you would consider donating or sharing this campaign to help me reach my fundraising goal.

My sincerest thanks to everyone once again!

We will do our best to keep everyone up to date on our next milestones.

Mariam & Jonathan

Photo Galleries (4)

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August 30, 2021

Mariam is a treasure, please lend your support.

Chris Stout

June 24, 2021

I can't think of many more deserving!

Jonathan Gice

June 23, 2021

We Love Mariam

Anné Wikstrom

June 22, 2021

Thrilled to help Mariam make her house a home! Please join me in this amazing opportunity!!!

Corey Staver