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Cape Coral roofing company starts non-profit to help families with disabilities

Posted at 5:31 PM, Feb 19, 2024

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — People like Vlad Yaremenko, whose younger brother has physical disabilities, said their car is a lifeline that helps them get to things like weekly doctor appointments.

However, if the car is not built to be handicap accessible, Yaremenko said it can cause some inconvenient and dangerous situations for his six-year-old brother Steven.

“We had to unbuckle his seat belt on the stroller, had to lift him up, just for the record he is 65 pounds…every time we wanted to get him to the car get him to like a therapist to the doctor,” said Yaremenko.

Not to mention, Yaremenko said handicap-accessible vans are not the cheapest option and they don't tent to come standard off the car lot.

So that is why Tristan Starbird said Trademark Roofing started a non-profit called Evie Adapts.

It's a story Fox 4 first told you back in 2021, when Starbird said they were raising money to buy a handicap-accessible van for a fellow employee's daughter, Evie.

Evie, who was born with a rare genetic disorder, was the inspiration for the non-profit, Starbird said.

Nearly three years later, the non-profit gifted another van, this time to the Yaremenkos.

“Right now we just put him in a stroller we roll him up and down the ramp secure him with belts and then he’s done,” said Yaremenko.

“Adaptations could be home adaptations, they could be technology adaptations, therapies could also be a handicap accessible van,” said Starbird.

Evie’s mom Lindsey Harper said she knows what life can be like before a handicap-accessible van.

“Expect things to be easier now, because things are hard in general.. normal life things can be hard and this just takes that burden away,” said Harper.

A lifted weight that big brother Vlad Yaremenko said was already felt by everyone.

“We can now focus on okay, how do we get him the best treatment possible so he can get back to a better childhood,” said Yaremenko.