INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- The cost of building a wheelchair-accessible home can quickly add up. For one Independence family, the community is helping them to reach their goal one soda can at a time.
Fifteen-year-old Hunter and 12-year-old Cody were both born with spinal muscular atrophy, a rare, genetic condition causing a loss of movement.
"They have never been able to stand up, crawl or roll over, and they've been using power wheelchairs since they were about two," said the boys mother, Stacie Edwards.
As the boys grow into larger wheelchairs, they're slowly outgrowing their Independence home.
For nearly 15 years, the Edwards family has dreamed of building a house with built-in ramps, wider hallways and more space. Most importantly, they wanted a house that would help them feel safe during extreme weather.
"If the sirens do go off, we only have steps to the basement, and we surely do not want to leave the wheelchairs up here," Edwards said.
So they're collecting cans to turn them into a down payment on a new, accessible home.
With help from the community, the Edwards have already collected nearly 8,000 pounds of soda and beer cans. Their goal is to collect 20,000 pounds of cans. The family recycles each can and uses the proceeds for their future house.