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A First: Habitat For Humanity Building Home For Paralyzed Man

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Adam Lavender's house being built in Carbondale (credit: CBS)

Adam Lavender’s house being built in Carbondale (credit: CBS)

CARBONDALE, Colo. (CBS4) – For the first time a Habitat for Humanity project is creating a home for a person who is completely paralyzed.

The project underway in Carbondale near Aspen is making a lot of firsts. For example, it’s one of the first in the country with an elevator and an energy efficiency rating.

“When I first crashed I was 100 percent numb and motionless below the neck,” Adam Lavender said.

It was April 2012 when Lavender, a professional mountain biker, crashed going over a jump he’d previously done hundreds of times.

“Basically vertically on my head and breaking my neck,” he said. “My arm and shoulder movement has come back, a lot of my core muscles have started to come back.”

But life with his family around their rental home is still tough.

“Adam is the first homeowner who ever picked us. We usually go find the families. In this case seven or eight different people called me and said, ‘Hey we need, your help, we need a home for Adam,’ ” Scott Gilbert with Habitat for Humanity said.

“We had no idea that building a custom home, custom tailored to my needs, would be possible,” Lavender said. “Because of the elevator I’ll be able to access the entire house so I can hang out with my girls in their bedroom.”

It’s the first home Habitat for Humanity is building in Lavender’s part of Carbondale. He says it’s a blessing to be able to stay in the Roaring Fork Valley and not get forced out because of financial concerns.

“Really our entire support network is here,” Lavender said. “It’s nice to be able to remain a part of this community and raise our kids here.”

His community is helping make his house a reality.

“It’s kind of a three-pronged effort. It takes really good volunteers willing to come out and help us. It takes raising money to pay for a lot of the costs … in the end we say it takes a community of support,” Gilbert said.

The house is expected to be done in July. Habitat for Humanity is hoping Former President Jimmy Carter will be there to hand Lavender the keys.

LINK: Habitat for Humanity

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