Construction of house will take into consideration the special needs of the couple’s two-year-old daughter

Construction of house will take into consideration the special needs of the couple’s two-year-old daughter

Christmas has come early for a Centreville family, when it recently found out it is next on Habitat for Humanity’s list for Carleton County.

Daisy Gallant and Johnathan DeMerchant, along with their daughter Katelyn, were thrilled at the news they will soon have a new home to call their own thanks to the Carleton County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Nearly two years ago, young Katelyn was diagnosed with a severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) called adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency, a rare genetic disorder which forced the little one to live in an isolation room.

But thanks to gene therapy treatment, the two-year-old was able to return home for Christmas last year.

Since then, the treatment sessions have been going well, Gallant said, and her daughter is enjoying her childhood.

“We still have a long road ahead with Katelyn, but she is doing well,” said Gallant. “She is the happiest baby I have ever seen.”

And the youngster has even more to smile about now that she will soon have a new house to live in.

Gallant first heard about the opportunity last month, when some employees at the Scotiabank suggested the couple apply for the project – something Gallant said they had tried for last year but did not qualify. Despite being unsure if the family would qualify this year, she said, she decided to file an application.

Not long afterwards, Habitat for Humanity officials dropped by Gallant’s apartment to meet with the family.

“They came for a visit, but they had to be careful because Katelyn is still very susceptible,” said Gallant.

Gallant talked things over and discussed the special needs of her daughter.

Two weeks later, they returned, Gallant said, asking her if she would accept the offer.

“It was incredibly shocking but amazing at the same time,” Gallant recalled.

One key element to the family’s new home that has Gallant excited is Habitat will install features to ensure young Katelyn’s safety – like putting water filters on all of the taps in the home.

Normally, Gallant had to buy bottled water because Katelyn could not drink well water or have a bath in it, she explained,

“Now Katlyn will be able to drink water from the tap,” said Gallant. “She will also be able to have a bath, and I won’t have to worry about the water.”

Gallant expects to be in her new home by winter. It would be great to be in by Christmas, she said, and it certainly would be memorable one. Last year, she was able to bring young Katelyn home for the first time for Christmas

And this year, Gallant said, she hopes to celebrate Christmas in the family’s new home.

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