Contractor Gives Daughter a Room to Call Her Own
In March 2004, doctors diagnosed Paul Brown, a former welder and Tucson father of three, with breast cancer. His wife, Monica, credits their daughter, Danielle, 20, with holding the family together these last three years and through several surgeries, rounds of chemotherapy, remission and the cancer’s re-emergence in June. After obtaining her high school degree in 2005, Monica says, Danielle chose to stay home to take care of her father and sister, Kayla, 13, rather than work and live on her own. “She’s put her life on hold to be at home,” Monica says.
Danielle’s dedication to her family in tough times is what led Monica to nominate her daughter for Wishmakers. About a year ago, Monica says, the family began converting their garage into a bedroom to add to the 1,100-square-foot home. But with Paul’s illness and her working full time as a Pima County administrator, there wasn’t enough time or money to complete the project. Monica wanted the converted garage for Danielle so she would no longer have to share a bedroom with her younger sister, Kayla. “I just think at her age, she deserves her own space,” Monica says. “She drives Kayla to school, does all the grocery shopping and usually has dinner made by the time I come home from work. She’s just a phenomenal person.”
But Monica didn’t think the room — with an unfinished concrete floor, exposed wall studs and a doorway that led only to the patio — was suitable.
When Rob Scott, owner of Handyman Connection of Pima County, heard the Browns’ story, he wanted to help. “It really touched a chord with me — my father’s a cancer survivor,” Scott says. He and his employees donated their time, money and expertise by partially demolishing a wall and framing and finishing a doorway to provide an interior entry into Danielle’s bedroom. Using donated materials from A Handyman Haven and Bobbie Joe’s Rug Works, they also built a landing and steps for the new doorway, installed laminate hardwood flooring and carpet, finished and painted drywall, and added a walk-in closet and shelving. Scott estimates the project’s materials and 80 hours of labor would normally cost about $2,500.
Until the work began, Monica kept the project under wraps, making it a pleasant surprise for Danielle. “I think it’s really great — the hardwood floors are really beautiful,” Danielle says. “For the first time in my life, I’ll have a real room of my own.”