Author: Shirah Matsuzawa
Published: 10:18 PM MDT July 25, 2020
Updated: 10:19 PM MDT July 25, 2020
BOISE, Idaho — Thirty volunteers gathered on Saturday for what they call a mobility makeover to help make life a little easier for four-year-old Tommy Marshall, who has Spina Bifida and is confined to a wheelchair, and his family.
“Tommy suffered major brain injury shortly after he was born and since then he’s had nine surgeries and four life flights,” Katie Marshall, Tommy’s mom, said.
This is why non-profit organization Chair the Hope teamed up with CBH Homes and other companies in the Treasure Valley like Lowes and Home Depot to install ramps for the family to use, a deck, a pergola and a cement path to the backyard.
“We are grateful to see all of the kindness that comes from connecting over someone that needs something,” Marshall said.
Nathan Ogden is the co-founder of Chair the Hope and can relate to the daily struggles Tommy and his family battle every day.
“COVID made us stop but disabilities haven’t stopped,” Ogden said. “I’m a quadriplegic myself and so it means a lot to me to be able to go out and be able to help others have a better quality of life.”
Two and a half years ago, Ogden’s wheelchair was stolen at a Boise State football game and that experience sparked his need to want to help others with disabilities.
“Boise came together and supported me in my time of need to try and find my wheelchair and this is a way that we can give back,” Ogden explained. “We just want people to have hope, have hope that there is something better and also hope that people care enough to come out on their Saturday and serve others.”
Saturday’s effort now serving as a life-changing experience for Tommy and his family.
“I’m so grateful that this project is making it so his world is not one that he’s witnessing, he’s not just witnessing life going by, but he’s going to enjoy it and experience it,” Marshall said.
Chair the Hope was founded in Meridian but helps those with disabilities throughout the world by delivering wheelchairs and medical devices to them free of charge.