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Hello! My name is Ethan Roman, and I am 15 years old. I also have cerebral palsy, which effects my muscle control, my muscle tone, my posture, and even my balance. Because of my cerebral palsy, I cannot eat through my mouth. Instead, I have a feeding tube in my stomach. And since I cannot walk, I use a wheelchair to get around. (Ever since I turned one, I have used a wheelchair. I did begin standing a bit last year, but since I cannot “walk around” I usually roll around a lot!)
Recently, my mom purchased a house here in West Orange, New Jersey. My disability meant that work needed to be done to the home before I could move in. Things like fixing the bathroom and the shower entrance, making the hallways and doorways wider…imagine a wheelchair rolling through your house! (And my mom can’t yell at me to “take my wheels off” before I come in the house!)
Most of the work that needed to be done to my house has been finished. The last and final task is the construction of a wheelchair ramp so I can enter and exit my home. Not just for the school bus, but in case of an emergency. You may have seen me on CBS news when my family appeared before the Zoning Board so we could get permission to build the ramp. It was a loooong battle, but my mom is my voice, and through her strength and the voices of many in our community we were able to get approval from the town to build my ramp. I am excited to enjoy my new life and my new home, just as you did when you moved into your home!
My mom and dad always taught me and my two younger siblings to be kind to others and imagine walking inside someone else’s shoes regardless of color, sex, or religion. And of course, abilities. We appreciate your support as we work towards building my new ramp. Your donation will help go towards the cost of construction materials and permits for the ramp. Our community has come together to do the actual construction…and provide food…AND provide funding!
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and helping to build my ramp. If there is any thing you need help with, I hope you will let me know. Please follow my ramp’s progress at www.OurGreenWestOrange.org/Ethans-Ramp We are a community, and together we are strongest.
Through a partnership with our friends at New Jersey All People Equal, larger tax-deductible donations to Ethan's Ramp project can be made. Checks should be made out to All People Equal Send to NJAPE, PO Box 1086, Little Falls, NJ 07424. (A charitable donation receipt will be sent to you.) Smaller donations are appreciated, too! More information will be posted ASAP as a donation button is set up.
Please share this page and Ethan's story with others! Posting on Facebook WO411 is a great way to share what's happening with Ethan's Ramp, as well as talking with neighbors, friends, and family.
OGWO is in the process of setting up a project blog so we can keep our community up to date with Ethan's Ramp. Stay tuned and see how YOU can participate!