(Northern Dutchess News – Vol. 6, Issue 24 JUNE 11, 2014)
By: Curtis Schmidt
Volunteers help to build ramp for handicapped youngster
Several volunteers visited Carter Bernhard (center) and his family this past Saturday. They all took part in constructing a much-needed wheelchair ramp at the family’s home in Hyde Park. From left are Luigi Coppola, Mike Whalen, Scott, Carter, Chrissy and Skye Bernhard, Brian Altmann and Dave Stewart. Photo by Curtis Schmidt
Sometimes in life you make a decision to give of yourself to help others in need. And you ask nothing in return, for the satisfaction you gain from knowing that you dropped everything and truly helped out is far greater than any monetary payment could ever be.
In this case, the result of that train of thought – a stable and sturdy ramp at his home – has given seven-year-old Carter Bernhard of Hyde Park his “best day ever.” And that is quite a statement from a kid who already has met and had his photo taken with singer Bruce Springsteen.
Carter was born with Spina Bifida. It is a neurological disorder that is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States, according to the Spina Bifida Association.
Carter is a sharp and active little fellow. He maneuvers his specially constructed wheelchair like a pro, even turning on a dime if necessary. He performs even better academically in the integrated classroom and classes at Violet Avenue Elementary School.
One of his major barriers, however, has been getting in and out of his family’s home.
A broken-down front porch made for unsafe conditions.
“There was no other way to get in or out of the house…”
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