Bothell teacher gets gift of mobility from local builders

Photo courtesy of Master Builders Rampathon

BOTHELL — Retired elementary school teacher Sharon Johnson received a special gift this morning as volunteers installed a wheelchair ramp at her Bothell home.

Johnson taught for 26 years and was forced to retire after Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) made it difficult for her to speak or walk. She will now be able to continue volunteering and stay active with the help of the wheelchair ramp.

Tuesday was the ramp dedication and kick-off for the 20th Master Builders Care Foundation’s Rampathon event. In May, volunteers from the foundation build ramps throughout King and Snohomish counties for low-income homeowners who have trouble getting in and out of their homes due to illness or disability.

Chris Huxford of Westhill, Inc., who participated in the event, finds the Rampathon very rewarding. "Our team always looks forward to seeing the happiness on each recipient's face as they wheel down a ramp for the first time. It is so gratifying to know we've given them a little bit of the freedom that most people take for granted."

This year, a total of 15 families will receive free ramps that hundreds of volunteers from the home building industry will build. The remaining ramps will be built on May 18.