LENEXA, Kan. -- Tristan Ramirez was excited to give a news crew the grand tour of his bedroom in his Lenexa home. The first thing a visitor notices is that everything is just the right size for Tristan who, at 4 years old, is just 31 inches tall.
Tristan has dwarfism. It's a disability whose limitations become rapidly apparent when he shows that same visitor the normal-sized bathroom he uses every day.
To turn on the sink to brush his teeth, he first has to step on a foot stool before crawling on top of the counter to reach the faucet.
Tristan's mom, Leandria Ramirez, is proud that he's learning to adapt to a world that will always be built for people much taller than him. She just wishes he didn't have to face the same obstacles when he's at home.
Pretty soon, he won't have to.
Schloegel Design Remodel has volunteered to do a free remodel of Tristan's bathroom to make it just the right size. The revamp will include big-ticket items like a new bathtub that Tristan can more easily climb into and a sink that's lower to the ground. There will also be plenty of smaller fixes that will make a huge difference, including placing a door handle lower on the door and the light switch lower on the wall.
Tristan and his family are this year's recipients of Schloegel's Big Splash Custom Bath Giveaway. For the last six years, FOX 4 has been there as Schloegel has chosen a family with a special needs child to receive a custom bathroom. Families tell us these beautiful baths are life-changing. For the first time, children in wheelchairs have been able to enter the bathroom on their own because the door has been widened to fit their chair, the sink has been adapted so they can reach the faucet and the bathtub has been transformed into a roll-in shower.
Leandria said she will never forget the day a few weeks back when she learned that Tristan was the contest winner for 2017.
"I got a phone call and I had to pull over the car," she said. "I was crying and I'll cry right now."
Schloegel foreman Chris Peterson said the Big Splash projects are the best part of his job.
"We get as much out of this as the client does," Peterson said.
Schloegel will start work on remodeling the bathroom next week. Once it's done, FOX 4 Problem Solvers will be back for the Big Reveal.