Recently, the DLP Positive Returns Foundation had an opportunity to positively impact and make a difference in a Pocono family’s life, specifically for their teenage daughter named Daisy.
Daisy Sherman was born with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a rare genetic connective tissue disorder that affects an estimated 1 out of every 20,000 births in the United States. According to debra of America, a foundation dedicated to helping improve the quality of life of those suffering from the disease, there are many genetic and symptomatic variations of EB, but all share the prominent symptom of extremely fragile skin that blisters and tears from minor friction or trauma. The list of complications and secondary illnesses can be long and requires multiple interventions from a range of medical specialists.
While there is no treatment or cure, researchers are making tremendous strides in developing therapies. The current standard of care is supportive, which includes daily wound care, pain management, and protective bandaging. There are 4 major types of the disease. Daisy has junctional EB, which will cause her to lose her hair, teeth and nails as a young adult.
Recently, Daisy’s parents (Patrick and Dana) contacted DLP Realty to discuss listing their current home for sale. They had decided to sell their home in order to purchase a larger one that would house an important piece of equipment to help Daisy, an indoor therapy pool. When the family lived in Florida prior to Pennsylvania, Daisy had use of a local therapy pool, and because of the weightlessness in water, was a tremendous help to her physical therapy. But here, there was no therapy pool available. Daisy’s parents hoped to have one installed in their basement, but a water infiltration issue was too expensive to repair. And, without repairing the basement, the sale price of their home would not bring an offer high enough to buy a larger home.
The only other option for the Shermans would be to move back to the Sunshine State and although the warmer weather was more agreeable to Daisy’s skin, the family had difficulty finding specialists willing to treat their daughter and they had little coverage for Daisy’s medical supply costs which totaled thousands of dollars every month.
After meeting with the family and learning about the Shermans’ predicament, Kelsey Elliot, DLP Real Estate Specialist quickly reached out to Don Wenner, DLP’s Founder and CEO. Wenner immediately stepped in and offered to help so that the Shermans would not need to find a way to pay for repairs nor would they have to move at all. Wenner comments, “After hearing about Daisy and the Sherman family, I knew we had a responsibility to help in any way that we could. Through the Positive Returns Foundation, we would make all necessary basement repairs and renovate the space in order for a therapy pool to be installed. Daisy is an extraordinary individual. The daily challenges that she goes through, the odds she has already overcome, and she continues to smile and stay positive. She’s truly amazing.”
Upon hearing this blessed news from DLP, Dana was in tears. She commented, “We are speechless that we will no longer have to worry about finding a home suitable for our entire family and meeting Daisy’s needs. With little access to socialization, her small world is made up of home health nurses (who have been with her for years and know how to carefully treat her so they won’t damage her skin) and a few friends from school. It would have been truly devastating for us to leave the people who care for her so well. Now that she can stay, Daisy will be able to live out the rest of her days surrounded by the people and things that she loves.”
The team got to work, reconfiguring and waterproofing the basement which would house the pool as well as building a separate physical therapy/exercise area and a finished family room for the family to enjoy. Patrick’s Pals Foundation donated the heated pool (Streamline, by Endless Pools) and Service Solutions installed it.
Now completed, Daisy is able to fully enjoy her pool time. With two current speeds, Daisy can swim and work her core muscles through balancing. She can do leg lifts without the pressure that would often cause her feet to blister and friction that could cause loosening of her skin. The water works her muscles around her joints and also helps to control infection. She can spend up to one hour in the pool and sometimes her younger brother joins in on the fun.
There is a small exercise area that opens into a separate family room area, another favorite spot of Daisy’s to relax and Facetime with her friends. Dana comments, “We all love to hang out here. We have family skeeball challenges and can watch tv together. Daisy likes to escape here and hang out on her own without Mom always being around.”
Daisy adds, “I love the pool. It really helps me and it’s also a lot of fun… Thank you.”
“The doctors said she wouldn’t live through her first night after she was born,” said Dana. “Here she is getting ready to celebrate her 14th birthday and next year she’ll be in high school! We are truly blessed and are grateful to DLP and the partners that helped make this miracle happen in Daisy’s life.”