When Richard Pilgrim became connected to The Ability Center’s Home Accessibility Program, our staff was able to do what we do best: make people’s homes safer. Richard’s house has been in his family since his parents purchased it in 1958.
Progressive arthritis and a bout with prostate cancer left Richard looking for assistance with mobility around the house. “I can only stand for a short period of time. Big steps are my worst enemy,” Richard confesses. His nurse at Mercy Health suggested researching local resources to help and soon discovered the wide array of services ACT provides. While his application was determined ineligible, the Johnsons stepped in to cover the cost. The ramp has changed Richard’s life in more ways than one.
Nothing brings together a family of boys quite like sports. Richard’s grandsons play baseball and he often travels to their games. Easy access in and out of his home equals more baseball games and shared memories with loved ones. No longer will Richard miss an at bat due to difficulty leaving his home.
Catching his grandsons’ baseball games is just one of Richard’s many hobbies. Vintage race car memorabilia cover the walls of his home. He started drag racing cars in 1963 in Norwalk, OH, and still frequents car shows. With expertise and knowledge with cars, paired with a pride for his country, Richard enrolled in the service in 1966 and worked on motors on a Navy destroyer until 1968.
Upon coming back to the United States, Richard landed a job with BP where he worked for 38 years.
Richard is embracing the new ramp and all that he can now do, “I don’t have to make so many trips when I go to the grocery store. I really appreciate the ramp, I couldn’t afford it without the donors. I live paycheck to paycheck.”
When asked what the biggest change has been since the ramp has been installed, he shares, “Little tasks do not take me as long.” Not only has our ACT staff, along with the Johnsons, provided home accessibility for Richard, but we’ve given him the gift of time. More time has been granted to Richard to enjoy his cars, play with grandsons, and relax in his favorite place, home.