As you know, we’ve been keeping tabs on Rachelle Friedman, the paralyzed bride-to-be who received a wheelchair van on loan from Van Products in Raleigh and BraunAbility to use as she plans her wedding. As many of you probably saw on the Today show, Rachelle and her fiance, Chris, were incredibly grateful to receive an amazing home makeover as part of NBC’s George to the Rescue, a home makeover program that gives deserving individuals and organizations much-needed design and decorating updates.
Host George Oliphant teamed up with over 200 volunteers from the Raleigh and Knightsdale communities to turn their two-story house into a masterpiece of accessibility. Every room received a fresh coat of paint and an updated look, but most of the work focused on the upstairs master bedroom and bathroom. Until now, Rachelle and Chris had to relocate to a first-floor bedroom, where they lacked privacy and seemed to suffocate under boxes of medical equipment. But once George and his crew arrived, they vowed to give the soon-to-be newlyweds their bedroom space back, starting with the unthinkable: a personal elevator so Chris never has to piggyback Rachelle upstairs again. The gorgeous master bedroom is equipped with an overhead lift to make transferring in and out of bed a lot easier. The bathroom includes low-effort faucets, countertops that Rachelle can roll right under, and an awesome shower with bench seating and accessories that will bring independence back to this part of Rachelle’s day. A few added benefits of the renovation, the new elevator reaches garage level, so the crew was able to take out a HUGE ramp that basically took up her entire garage (so now there’s more room for that Rampvan!). The entire project, which should have taken over six months, was completed in 11 days. And although most of our customers in need of such renovations don’t have the resources that Rachelle’s crew invested, it is a good reminder of what a community with a cause is capable of accomplishing. We’re proud to be partnering with Rachelle and Van Products to help her and Chris take the next step of their lives together. Take a look at the show online, and prepare to be jealous! And check out that beautiful Toyota Rampvan she’s in!