Last October, Chivers came out in droves, over 12,000-strong, to support Melissa Smith. Melissa has twice defeated cancer, but a horrific side effect of her treatment left her paralyzed with Transverse Myelitis. Melissa was living on the third floor of an apartment and desperately needed an ADA-accessible home. Chive Charities fronted a $50,000 grant from the Chive Fund. We asked the Chivers to consider raising $50,000. We were thinking that seemed like a solid amount to help with a downpayment. But this community of misfits left that goal in the dust and raised over 8 times the goal, $400,000+. You can read the story RIGHT HERE.
A lot has changed in Melissa’s life for the positive since the money was raised. Her story went absolutely viral and was seen on everything from the CBS Evening News to Yahoo.com. But her health hasn’t been without its challenges. She tells us, “I was hit pretty hard this winter with pneumonias and other medical issues. Spring was quite the recovery.” Once her strength returned, Melissa was eager to fulfill the dream that the Chivers made possible. Annapolis is an expensive housing market. She knew whatever house she purchased would need a lot of work to be made ADA-accessible.
Well, we at last have the update you’ve been waiting for. Thanks to the relentless generosity of the Chivers, Melissa recently closed on a new home in Arnold, MD! She is finally on her way to living comfortably and reclaiming her independence! The house still needs a lot of work before it’s ready for Melissa, but she is ecstatic. She told us, “I’m a simple girl. I just wanted a fixer-upper. Compared to my third-story prison, my new place is a mansion.”