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Hempstead Grant To Help Family Bring Child With Cerebral Palsy Into, Out Of Home

ROOSEVELT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A grant will help a boy with cerebral palsy get into and out of his Long Island home.

As WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported, the Johnsons have been struggling to bring 7-year-old Kayden, who uses a wheelchair, up and down the few stairs outside their Roosevelt house.

His mother, Darlene, said it's difficult to lift 60 pounds by herself.

Hempstead Grant To Help Family Bring Child With Cerebral Palsy Into, Out Of Home

"Especially when it rains, it snows," she said. "Especially if I'm the only one home. Then I have to take him out, bring him in and then come back and try to get the chair."

Now, as CBS2's Scott Rapoport reported, their home is getting a major makeover.

But thanks to the grant from the town of Hempstead that helps residents with special needs, a wheelchair lift will be placed on the stairs and their bathroom will become handicap accessible.

"Through the grant, the Johnson's can receive up to $20,000, which is free. It does not have to be paid back, to make their house more accessible," Kate Murray (R), Hempstead Town Supervisor said.

Darlene started to cry Thursday.

"It's been difficult," she said. "It's been hard. But we've been managing so far and just so thankful for the town of Hempstead."

The Johnsons are excited about the lift that will meet a widened, accessible door, and inside young Kayden will be able to roll right into the soon to be remodeled bathroom.

"They're getting a shower, expanding it so his chair can go right into the shower," Tanya Johnson explained.

The Johnson's neighbors said the grant is deserved, from what they've seen watching the family struggle to lift the combined 80-lbs of Kayden and the wheelchair.

"It's strenuous on the wife and his sister. He works, he has to help both the ladies by himself," neighbor Sonny Galindez said.

Kevin Johnson is a highway worker. He said he could never have affordd the lift on his income. The town said it is now lining up certified contractors to make sure the lift and ramp meet all handicapped specifications, but it should be ready to ease Kayden's daily climbs within the next few weeks.

The town said other families in need of handicapped accessible grants can also apply.

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