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Honorees

Jason Smith

During his stay, Jason’s situation darkened and he was rushed to the ICU, where his heart stopped twice. Jason would be in the hospital for six months and during his stay, he endured a feeding tube for five months, six surgeries, dialysis, numerous CT scans, blood disease, liver damage, diabetes, and a ventilator with two drain tubes in his body. Fast forward a year from the original diagnosis and Jason is now on his second round of therapy in his home. During the ordeal, Jason lost more than 100 pounds. Jason’s wife Brittany lost her job six months ago after caring for Jason during his illness. They have a five-year-old daughter and given the stack of medical bills, face financial hardships they could not have fathomed 15 months earlier. Aware of his company’s award-winning national program of giving, Safe Step Cares, Dupler passed the letter along to company president Mike Duffer, who started the program based on a promise he made to his mother upon starting the business, in that if his company saw success (which it has), he would give back to those less fortunate (which he has). Duffer decided to help the Smiths with a state-of-the-art walk-in tub, FREE OF CHARGE. Dupler, who installs Safe Step tubs as his profession, was so moved by the story that he decided to organize a golf tournament in order to help with the family’s expenses … before he learned of his president’s intentions. The video tells the rest of the story.

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David Scarbrough

When we first met David Scarbrough, we had identified a GoFundMe page for a boy who needed a tub but whose single mom could not afford one. It was the launch of Safe Step Cares. He was 13 at the time, stayed curled up in a ball most of the day, was in a wheelchair, could barely walk, and was in constant pain. He used his donated tub seven times a day on average and saw immediate and progressive relief. Within a couple of years, he won a Special Olympics medal where on the stand he thanked his mom and Soaky, the nickname for his tub. He walks daily now with his therapy dog Nellie but here is the good stuff: HE GRADUATED ON MAY 25, 2018! His mother feels that this would not have been possible without the tub via Safe Step Cares.

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Tyler Currie

Doctors told Tyler Currie’s mom Beth Coward not to bring her son into the world. He would be severely autistic, unable to speak, unable to care for himself, and handicapped. She didn’t listen, and the world received an angel in Tyler. He stays with caretakers and the toughest task in daily life is something most of us take for granted: taking a bath. Safe Step Cares changed all of that and honored Beth’s special son with a walk-in tub.    

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Noah Jones

One of those who nominated Mariah was Jaime Jones, who diagnosed Mariah based on her experience with her own son, 12-year-old Noah, who also has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA). She felt that the company would probably only provide one tub and felt Mariah was deserving. She attended the tub presentation for Mariah, where she and Noah met Safe Step personnel. Fighting back tears, she told them how a tub would also help Noah. Fifty of her friends agreed and the area AGAIN took their case online and nominated Noah more than 50 times, telling actual stories about how Noah and his family have raised nearly $30,000 to bring awareness to JRA. It was a great story though, according to Safe Step Cares coordinator Derek Farley, the decision had already been made. “Imagine the selflessness involved when a mother nominates someone else’s child facing the same daily challenges of JRA as her own,” said Farley. “When we met Jaime at Mariah’s donation, she was reluctant to even comment on Noah, saying ‘this is about Mariah, not us.’ That’s when we knew that Noah was going to receive his tub too.” Farley and other key Safe Step Cares representatives flew to Pittsburgh to deliver the early Christmas present to the Ellwood City youngster and his family. The tub was wrapped in green with a big red bow on top. The green wrapping is comprised of printouts of all of the nominations Noah received. All of his nominators were invited to the delivery, including Mariah and her mother Tory, who reciprocated her daughter’s good fortune by nominating Noah herself. “We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the holidays than to present our life-changing gift to a very deserving young man who is battling this disease every day,” said Duffer. “It was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made. We look forward to sending Christmas early to Noah and his family.”

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