Project 2007

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The 2007 project was to help Mark Manion, a native San Diegan, who was only 19 years old when he was critically injured by a drunk driver. Mark and his cousin were riding bikes cross-country, but they only got as far as Bakersfield before their trip ended. Sadly, Mark’s cousin was killed, and Mark was left paralyzed from the neck down. Mark beat all odds when, after many years of physical therapy, he began to walk again. But years later, after living a reasonably normal life, getting married and having two children, he encountered tragedy yet again when a freak accident sentenced him to a life in a wheelchair. Since that second accident, he has been forced to depend completely on others for his mobility. When we asked Mark how we could improve the quality of his life, he ask for improved access to the kitchen, his office area, and his front and back yards. Mark, previously a very athletic individual, greatly missed being able to spend time in his back yard enjoying the view and in his front yard where he could socialize with neighbors. Students remodeled the kitchen to provide easier access to appliances and cabinets, installed new tile flooring, widened doorways, lowered light switches, and completely landscaped the front and back yards of his house to provide Mark with easy access to both areas.

Mark’s courage and dedication is an example for everyone who worked on his project. In spite of his hardships, Mark remains a very positive individual and uses his experience to speak out against the dangers of drunk driving. In 1999, he received the “Volunteer of the Year” award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). As a role model, Mark changes lives and serves as a reminder of the impact our actions have on others.

Scenes from the workday

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