Based on John’s production of the young girl’s video, he was hired full-time for the program. John has traveled from coast-to-coast on a shoestring budget in order to capture these special moments. What John didn’t call attention to was the fact that he was suffering himself. John has Ankylosis Spondylitis, an incurable degenerative disease. In layperson’s terms, it’s like a clamp around your back and eventually, your spine will fuse completely. He visits the Alabaster YMCA when he can to sit in the hot tub to relieve his pain. He takes 8 different medications daily in order to function through the chronic pain. Upon staying with the program’s director, 150PR head Derek Farley, John finally revealed his disease. He stayed with Farley to cut down on expenses; Farley has a Safe Step tub in his home in Charlotte. Although embarrassed, Deaver asked to use the tub; Farley obviously obliged. After an hour in the tub, Deaver exited and said he felt better than he had in years Farley then presented the nomination to the Safe Step executive team, who approved the donation.
Nashville-based Safe Step Walk-in Tub is the largest walk-in tub manufacturer in North America. The company created its nationally-renowned philanthropy named Safe Step Cares in 2013. The charity has donated more than 50 tubs in 5 years and chooses recipients based on nominations. In most cases, it lets its valued team members vote on the recipients. In John’s case, it was “Mike’s choice,” – donated by company founder Mike Duffer.
“For our first couple of donations, I contracted local videographers in each town, which lead me to him for our first giveaway in Alabaster,” said Derek Farley, spokesperson for Safe Step Cares. “He understood our objective and is the best storyteller via video I’ve ever worked with. I now know the pain he lives with and I am so excited to surprise him with a tub of his own. That our company’s founder Mike Duffer volunteered to be a part of the surprise tells you exactly what you need to know about how the company feels about John.”