When couple Brenda Hummel and Dan Foreman started looking for a house in Grimes, it wasn’t as simple a quest as finding one with a three-car garage or a galley kitchen.
No, it was Brenda’s daughter, Andrea, influencing the couple’s buying decision. Andrea, nicknamed Scooter, is nonmobile, nonverbal, g-tube fed and globally delayed due to seizures.
“At 5 months old, she began having seizures… hundreds of seizures per day,” explains Brenda. “We had a diagnosis within about five days… Infantile Spasms: a catastrophic form of childhood epilepsy due to the difficulty in controlling the seizures.”
Andrea initially brought Brenda and her 10-year-old son Sal to Grimes in 2010 because the school system was recommended as one that could accommodate their needs.
“Once we moved to Grimes, we immediately fell in love with the small-town feel while still being close to the city,” says Brenda. “I grew up in a small town, and I felt right at home. Great community.”
But their first home in Grimes was a four-level split house. Because Andrea uses a wheelchair, Brenda had to carry her up and down the stairs, and it became increasingly more difficult as Andrea grew. When Brenda and Dan started the search for a new home, they needed a ranch, one that would accommodate Andrea’s wheelchair and allow them to more easily and safely transport her from room to room.
When they found their new home, they fell in love with the backyard and several key elements.
“It has a huge fenced-in backyard with a very large deck,” Brenda says. “It has what once was a one-car garage turned into a rustic living room with fireplace. It has a large basement we can finish. It was on a dead end street, so there wouldn’t be a lot of traffic for the kids. It was a home we could make our own and would work well with my daughter’s needs.”
Now at 6 years old, Andrea is thriving and is in first grade at Dallas Center-Grimes.
“Grimes has been more than we could ask for in terms of stepping up and making changes that not only impact my daughter but either directly or indirectly impact everyone,” says Brenda.
Would you like your home featured in this column in an upcoming issue of Grimes Living? If so, email Darren Tromblay at email@example.com.