Burbank family gets home reno, courtesy of “George to the Rescue” — and lots of local volunteers.
By Carolyn Maynard-Parisi
In the past six months, the Burbank family of Maplewood has been through steep challenges. After Carolyn and Eric Burbank’s son, Ryan, was in an accident last summer that left him paralyzed from the chest down, the family has struggled to adapt to their “new normal.”
The Burbanks have deep roots in Maplewood. Eric is the longtime Director of Public Works. Ryan worked at Village Trattoria and played football and lacrosse at Columbia High School.
After the accident, the community banded together to offer help in ways large and small, visiting, making meals and organizing fundraisers to help the family afford home renovations to accommodate Ryan’s needs.
A sunken living room left Ryan largely confined to the first floor sitting room, unable to even watch TV with his brothers, and the bathroom was unaccessible to wheelchairs. (See photo attached of the living room “before”.) Although family and friends painted the sitting room the colors of his favorite Dallas Cowboys, the arrangement left Ryan with little privacy and the family without a comfortable place to congregate.
Enter family friend Steve Ramos, who knew someone with a connection to NBC’s home improvement show “George to the Rescue,” where host George Oliphant and crew renovate homes to change people’s lives. Ramos suggested the Burbank family for the show.
“We wanted to bring the family dynamic back,” said Ramos.
The crew spent three weeks totally renovating the ground floor, which will enable Ryan to not only get around with ease but to have privacy. A horde of local contractors, businesses and many friends — including Ryan’s old high school buddies and lacrosse teammates — also pitched in, donating labor and materials.
For more: Maplewood Patch
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