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SheKnows gives mother and son new hope

Alison Luther is writer, marketer and owner of Luther Creative which helps companies develop their brand and marketing strategies to strengthen their presence among online consumers. Previously, Alison served as Director of Public Rel...

Changing lives one home at a time

It was love at first sight when SheKnows met Michelle Campuzano an her son David, who were in desperate need of a home makeover. We could not have found a more deserving family, and now SheKnows is proud to share this truly inspirational story.
Michelle and David Campuzano

SheKnows Homergency: Turning houses into homes for families facing challenges

SheKnows Homergency is a charitable home makeover series dedicated to changing the lives of deserving families by completely transforming their houses. Designers from SheKnows, along with a crew of volunteers, perform total home makeovers inside and out, providing solutions to design and function dilemmas. The SheKnows crew remodels, refurbishes and redecorates every room with fresh paint, updated flooring, furniture and more — all in just under one week. The result: A house that suits the needs of the family who calls it home.

The project

Home:

Campuzano residence

Design goal:

Increased accessibility

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Michelle Campuzano gave birth to her son, David, prematurely. The tiny boy weighed in at just 2 pounds, 6 ounces and has endured a 15-year battle for survival that has included 31 brain surgeries and struggles with epilepsy and cerebral palsy. A few short months ago, David was put on 100 percent life support, and Michelle was told to say her final goodbyes. Miraculously, however, David pulled through and is climbing steadily toward a healthy recovery.

With her time and energy focused on David’s health, Michelle has been unable to make the changes to their home that would make it far more practical — and daily life, easier — for them both. For example, the main bathroom in the house is currently handicapped-accessible, but the toilet doesn’t work. Michelle has to lift David out of his chair and carry him through the house to the bathroom in the back because that path is too difficult to navigate with his chair. She fears that David will soon be too heavy for her to carry, and she worries about what she will do when that day comes.

A "seizure dog" is trained to sense oncoming seizures, but waiting lists are long — in David’s case, 7 years long and counting.

David is also prone to seizures, which means he must sleep next to Michelle in her bed so she can sense them. A seizure dog could take over that watch and allow David and Michelle to have their own rooms, but the waiting list is long; David’s been on it for seven years and counting.

Despite all the struggles the family has faced, Michelle has done all she could to provide for David, including earning two master's degrees in special education. She now teaches other at-risk children with developmental issues.

The SheKnows designers are on the way with the time and design resources to make their home handicapped-accessible and improve its function. As a special gift, Michelle and David will also receive training sessions with a special-needs dog so they can finally have their own spaces to enjoy. The changes will help ease daily life for Michelle and David and provide some peace of mind so they’ll finally be free to focus on what really matters: each other.

See before and after photos of the home >

Up next: A personal thank you from Michelle >>

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