Sometimes a knight in shining armour with a trusty steed is actually a local construction contractor riding in a work truck. At least that’s how it seems to Sharon Smith after Felipe Freig of Versa Homes swooped in with an offer of a new playroom for her boys.
Typically, Versa Homes hosts an annual BBQ in benefit of the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. In the past they’ve raised in excess of $25K to help improve the lives of BC Kids and their families. Last year instead, Felipe Freig – Owner of Versa Homes, decided to change it up. After a short contest on Facebook over Christmas 2017, he focused his team’s efforts on one deserving family: The Smiths. The project was nothing more than a dream for single mom Sharon until Versa Homes stepped up to tackle the renovation free of charge.
At the age of 10 months, Huxley fell seriously ill. This led to an Emergency Room visit which landed him directly in BC Children’s Hospital. He didn’t get to go home for 5-1/2 months. Huxley was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a rare form of the disease which starts in the bone marrow but can quickly move into the blood and other parts of the body including the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, and central nervous system. He went through intense chemotherapy treatments which thankfully resulted in remission, but not before contracting meningitis in the hospital, experiencing seizures and having to be quarantined to his room constantly. That’s a pretty tall order for a toddler!
Sharon’s plate was already full taking care of two boys, aged 2 & 7, plus working full time without the newly added pressure of hospital trips, treatments and expenses. She also provides accommodations for two billeting students who share their home. The Smith’s entry hit close to home for the Versa crew. With varying ages of little ones between them they understand it’s every parent’s biggest desire to be able to provide a safe and fun environment for their kids to grow up. Little Huxley’s condition means lots of hospital and specialist visits which affects not only him…his older brother Nateo too…but obviously it’s hardest on Mom.
Their home was originally built in 1958 and Versa got to work straight away demolishing the outdated basement playroom. Mostly being used for storage, the boys also had an area with a TV for video games. The work included removal of the existing aged flooring, drywall, wood wall panelling, ceiling tiles and mouldings. The door had previously been damaged and removed many years prior. Versa provided their trusted tradesmen and materials to replace all new laminate flooring, drywall, mouldings, lighting fixtures, paint, shelving, couches, a desk/chair combo and a new full glass door for Sharon to keep an eye while still giving the boys their own space. The brightly coloured shelving units and fun textures create a functional room that still incorporates elements of curiosity and exploration important to a kid’s space. There’s even a “chalk wall” for the boys to doodle on.
Freig was overwhelmed by the willingness of his business partners to get involved. “I can truly say without a doubt I work with the best people in the industry. Not only because of their eager generosity to work together on this project for Sharon, but their consistent delivery, excellent craftsmanship and stellar service on all Versa’s other projects. Personal thank-you’s have been delivered to each contributor, as we wanted to make sure they all got the recognition they so rightly deserve.”
Generous sponsors and contributors:
Interior Design: A. Riley Design Inc. – Angela Riley
Demolition & Hazmat testing: Brit’s Renovations – Britain Higginbotham
Materials: Country Lumber – Darren Kruse
Electrical: Cliff’s Electric Company – Jesse Wainwright
Drywall: Dynamo Drywall – Juan Velez
Paint: Imperial Painting – Craig Lundy
Finish Carpentry: Jence Finishing – Vince Snyder
Flooring supply: Monarch Flooring – Matt Robinson
Flooring installation: JMW Flooring – Mark Wilson