Foundation to build innovative home for ALS patients in Spokane
SPOKANE, Wash.– A new state-of-the art home for ALS patients is coming to Spokane. Matt’s Place Foundation is edging closer to breaking ground on the project, despite COVID-19 related setbacks.
Former Marine Matthew Wild established the foundation shortly after his diagnosis with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, after the baseball player diagnosed with it.
The deadly disease has impacted Wild’s ability to walk, talk, eat and breathe. There is no cure and the average life expectancy after diagnosis is two to five years. Wild has already exceeded that and is pressing on to make a difference.
In 2017, the foundation opened the doors to its first home for ALS patients. The Coeur d’Alene house was built with state-of-the-art technology to empower and ease stress for an ALS patient. Thanks to the foundation, Kathy Martin moved into the home for free. Wild’s wife, Theresa Whitlock-Wild, explained that ALS is an especially debilitating disease both physically and financially. It can costs thousands to renovate a home to meet the unique needs of an ALS patient. That’s why the foundation built the home in Coeur d’Alene. They wanted to provide a place for a family to live, without having to worry about a mortgage or rent.
“Quality of life is so important. We may not be able to control the quantity, how many years they have, but we want the years that they do have to matter,” Whitlock-Wild said.
Now, the foundation is taking on another new build. This one will be located in Spokane with the same high-tech features included in the first home. The big difference here will be how the home is constructed.
Whitlock-Wild said they’re teaming up with BERG and Vaagan Timbers to create the house. They’ll build the SMART home using eco-friendly cross laminated timber. The goal is to build something that can be replicated, scaled to size and spread out across the country to help even more people. Whitlock-Wild said it’s an idea that could be helpful for more than just ALS patients.
“We are three years into designing this home right now, but we want it to be perfect,” Whitlock-Wild said. “We want to make sure we’ve thought of absolutely everything because this one has never been done before.”
COVID-19 forced the foundation to cancel some fundraisers this year. Whitlock-Wild said they are still looking for financial donations and construction partners. Lear more HERE.
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