CENTERPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island community has come together to build a home for a teenager who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Crews began demolishing 19-year-old Dylan Thompson’s Centerport home Monday to make way for a new energy efficient and handicap-accessible house.
Thompson, who was diagnosed at age 5, said the Mayflower Court house has been a nightmare for him to get around in his wheelchair.
“It’s very tight and not handicapped accessible,” Thompson said. “There’s not a lot of room for me to move around.”
Volunteers with the Building Hope for Long Island Foundation and the Dylan’s Footprint Foundation will help build the new home which will have wider hallways, a handicap-accessible bathroom, and a specially-designed bedroom to accommodate Thompson.
“He had small hallways, no access to the bathroom, multi levels, ramps all over. So this is going to be one level so he can get around in his wheelchair to every part of the house,” John Williams of Building Hope For Long Island told CBS 2′s Jennifer McLogan.
Thompson said he was overwhelmed when the dozens of volunteers turned up to his home.
“Just overjoyed that they would help a complete stranger,” Dylan told McLogan. ”A dream come true.”
As McLogan reported, the effort to rebuild Thompson’s home started out small and continued to grow.
“We put out a Facebook page and we have all these people who have wanted to come and volunteer,” said Dorothy Schlosser Building Hope For Long Island.
Thompson is a graduate of Harborfields High School and recently enrolled in Five Towns College.
“Statistically, they usually don’t live past their 20s, but we have hope with research,” Dylan’s mother, Gloria Thompson, told McLogan.
“I’ve been in some rough patches,” Dylan said. “But right now I’m really healthy.”
Although the old home is full of memories, Thompson said he is looking forward to being able to move around freely and comfortably through his new home.
The new house is expected to be completed by Labor Day.
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