CTMC women's ramp build celebrated Breast Cancer Awareness Month while meeting local family's need
SAN MARCOS, TX – An all-female team of volunteers from Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC) gathered on Oct. 27 in bright pink t-shirts to construct a 65-foot ramp for a San Marcos family during the “Tough as Nails” ramp build project. The ramp was built for 3-year-old Chelsea and her 9-year-old sister, Brianna, who both have spina bifida.
|Nicole and Brian Ashby (far right) stand with their daughter, Chelsea (front), and the CTMC female volunteers who came together to build a ramp for their home.
“Chelsea loves it,” said Nicole Ashby, the girls’ mother. “All she talks about is her porch. When we got up on Sunday morning, all she wanted to do was go on her porch.”
Although ramps can be essential for people with special needs, families often struggle to cover the large expense associated with building one. Once implemented, however, the result is life-changing.
“Chelsea’s going to be able to get outside without having to be carried,” Ashby said. “She’s going to have more independence and be able to navigate in and out of the house without having to worry about steps and stuff like that. We didn’t know how we were going to be able to fund it. This is a true blessing.”
The female work crew was part of CTMC’s initiative to raise awareness for the local fight against breast cancer.
“The ladies who participated in this project gathered to support and make a statement about helping those battling cancer and other illnesses,” said CTMC Ramp Building Coordinator Bob Gardner. “The girls’ mother expressed tears of gratitude as she thanked the crew who worked into the afternoon to extend the healing hand of Christ to their family.”
Gardner also serves as an auxiliary volunteer at the hospital, as well as the leader of Texas Ramps’ Hays County affiliate. CTMC partnered with Texas Ramps in December after approving a portion of its budget to help people in the community with housing needs. Since then, CTMC crews have constructed 13 ramps in Hays County and pre-built units to assemble 18 more.
Once referrals for ramps are made, requests are prioritized based on need. After a ramp project is approved by Texas Ramps, modules are pre-assembled at the San Marcos warehouse on Staples Road. From there, teams set a date to gather at the residence to construct the ramp from the pre-built components. According to Gardner, all ramps meet the codes laid out in the American Disabilities Act.
Just like in years past, CTMC shined its light bright for the cancer fight in 2012. The Pink Heals Rally that will take place Nov. 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. in San Marcos City Park will wrap this year’s breast cancer awareness activities. For more information, visit www.ctmc.org.
The hospital, which originated in 1923 as Hays County Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Memorial Hospital, was restructured in 1960. The present facility was opened at its current Wonder World Drive location in 1983. The CTMC staff of more than 700 employees works with more than 220 active and consulting physicians to provide quality services to patients and their families. In addition, over 200 community members and interns from area educational institutions volunteer their services to the hospital. In 2010 and again in 2011, CTMC was named The Best Hospital in Hays County. In addition, CTMC added a certified Chest Pain Center to its ER capabilities in 2011. In 2012, CTMC became the first operating room along the IH-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio to be equipped with a da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery suite.
CTMC is a member of the Adventist Health System (AHS), a not-for-profit healthcare organization that emphasizes Christ at the center of care. Founded in 1973, AHS has quickly grown to become the largest not-for-profit Protestant healthcare provider in the nation. Today, AHS supports 43 hospitals and employs 55,000 individuals. AHS hospitals are comprised of 7,700 licensed beds, providing care for 4 million patients each year in inpatient, outpatient and emergency room visits.