A Wish for Joanna

It began with a wish and ended with a new railing.

Joanna, a 24-year-old from Allison Park, PA, had to discontinue her college studies three times in the past few years due to two major health problems. Due to her condition, her family home needed some renovations to make the environment safer and easier for her.

old steps were uneven and unsafe for Joanna

The old steps to Joanna's
house were not safe
.

Her uncle, David Kurkiewicz, nominated Joanna’s home for a new walkway and railings on the Angie’s List Wishmakers site. The change, he said, would make it safer for Joanna to maneuver in and out of the house since her frail condition affects her balance and ability to walk.

“Joanna’s has been in and out of the hospital for years now,” Kurkiewicz wrote in his Wishmakers nomination. “She has patience and strength to endure pain and suffering in a way that not many are burdened.”

Angie’s List, the well known business review site, has paired highly rated service companies with those in need since 2004. Depending on the request, there may be just one service provider involved, or a group of companies working together. In this case, West Mifflin-based RJL Enterprises Inc. answered the call to replace outdated steps with new concrete.

Then Chad Galbreath, president of Penn Fence, learned that they still needed a railing on Joanna’s Allison Park home. He let Angie’s List Wishmakers know the firm would be able to help. In only a few weeks, materials arrived and the crew of Neal, Jessie, and Wayne went to work on a new aluminum railing with vinyl-wrapped wood posts.

With safer, more accommodating entrance, “Joanna and her family are thrilled,” says Angela Barnes. Ms. Barnes is the Wishmakers Project Coordinator and calls herself the “other Angie” at Angie’s List. “The good news came at a time when they really needed some good news,” she says.

The pictures below show the installation process during December 2011.

new concrete steps need a railing for safety

New concrete steps need a railing for safety

post hole digging

Installation work begins with post hole digging.

Timbers installed.Timbers installed. Timbers wrapped in vinyl.Timbers wrapped in vinyl.
Railing installers level new aluminum rail. Railing installer levels new aluminum rail. Finished aluminum and wood railing. Finished aluminum and wood railing.

 

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