Luke Bowman, a Star Wars obsessed 13-year-old, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) just before his third birthday. But Luke doesn’t let that stop him! With his compassionate and loving parents, Debbie and Chad Bowman, by his side, and the companionship of his dog, Cody, he is living his best life here in Denver, Colorado. Teaming up with the Home Builders Foundation of Denver, we were able to work together and complete an ADA bathroom remodel for Luke to enjoy.
Luke is funny, friendly, lighthearted, and fun, according to Kacie Anderson, senior designer, and Jamie Saer, project manager, of FBC Remodel. “He was a joy to be around and always found the best in every situation. Luke was thrilled about his new bathroom every step of the way!”
Living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Luke’s day-to-day looks a little different than other kids his age. Living with DMD means that he uses a wheelchair and requires assistance doing daily activities like bathing and getting dressed. DMD is a genetic disorder presenting progressive muscle degeneration and weakness.
“Luke was a late walker, but we didn’t think anything of it until we noticed that he couldn’t physically do what other children his age could do,” says Luke’s mother, Debbie. “When we realized how behind he was, we took him to the pediatrician, and he underwent testing during the summer before he turned three. After lots of testing and waiting, we were given the DMD diagnosis a month before his third birthday.”
As Luke got older, his need for independence and his family’s desire to create that independence for him grew. The Bowmans reached out to the Home Builders Foundation seeking a space that Luke could retreat to where he could complete tasks helping him build his independence. The Home Builders Foundation was thrilled to accept Luke’s family into their own and work with them to complete the bathroom remodel for Luke.
Bringing Luke’s bathroom remodel to life
The process of creating a bathroom that met Luke’s needs but would also be an enjoyable space for him to be in was overseen by the FBC Remodel team. The team included Kacie Anderson – Senior Designer, Jamie Saer – Project Manager, and Carly Egyed – Superintendent.
Creating an ADA Compliant Bathroom for Luke
Working with the Bowmans was both similar and different from a typical bathroom remodel. The team had to ensure that the space was ADA compliant and functional for Luke’s needs while also being a cool and comfortable space for him to enjoy as a 13-year-old boy and grow with him as he got older. “HBF and FBC Remodel spent a lot of time with Luke finding out what he likes and needs,” stated Debbie, which was true of the entire team and helped everyone bring the vision to life.
The priority of the ADA bathroom remodel was ensuring that the bathroom met Luke’s needs. This required ample space around the tub, shower, and sink to allow for the turn radius of his wheelchair to more freely. Kacie, having experience with ADA compliance, was familiar with the logistics and necessities of the project and put together a design plan that functioned perfectly for Luke.
Design Elements That Wowed!
Then came designing the elements that truly brought the room to life. Kacie spearheaded the design of Luke’s bathroom, took the time to get to know the Bowman family, and worked diligently to create a space that brought them joy. She discovered their love for Star Wars and incorporated design elements that brought the movie series to life in his bathroom.
The Bowmans were a lovely family to work with during their bathroom remodel. Carly stated, “It was really fun to get to interact with Luke and see how happy they all were. They are a really great family, and to get to be a part of their house, have them welcome me in, and be just as excited to see me every day when I came in was my favorite part!”
unveiling Luke’s ADA bathroom remodel
Luke was over the moon when he finally got to see his finished bathroom. “I like that I’m able to get in there and get to everything that I need – the bath, the shower, and the sink. I love the murals and all the time that was put into the project. I just really enjoyed the experience of it getting put together and then the final reveal,” says Luke. While he wasn’t kept out of the bathroom during the remodel, he didn’t see the finishing touches until everything was done. The Star Wars wall which included Fathead stocks of the w-wing fighter, rebel forces symbol, and Star Wars logo, along with other design elements were some of the pieces of the remodel that he was surprised with at the final unveiling.
The Home Builders Foundation
The Home Builders Foundation (HBF) of Denver has been a staple in our community since 1993. Their mission is to build independence, provide opportunities and elevate lives for individuals and families with disabilities in our community. Since its inception, HBF has completed over 1,800 projects for locals in the Denver area with disabilities.
Many HBF families come to them through an application on their website and referrals from other families they worked with in the past. Luke’s family came to HBF after hearing about the foundation through another client who went to school with Luke. After learning about HBF and the services they provide, the Bowmans reached out and applied for a new bathroom that would grant Luke independence to get around on his own.
FBC Remodel and the Home Builders Foundation
Jamie learned about HBF through one of our trade partners in 2020 right before COVID-19 hit. Once lockdown started, communication slowed as projects weren’t going through the process at the time. After everything began to open back up Jamie resumed communication with HBF and connected with them about Luke’s ADA bathroom remodel. Since it was a larger scope than usual we were able to come in with low costs and donated time and materials from our trades.
The HBF and FBC Remodel missions align beautifully. It was easy to keep each team on board during the remodel and in line with the overall goal of providing Luke with his new space. Each team went above and beyond to create a functional and beautiful new bathroom for Luke.
This was the first project where we teamed up with HBF, but it definitely won’t be the last. We look forward to working with HBF on future projects and aim to complete one with them per year moving forward.
At FBC Remodel, our mission is to build joy for as many people as possible. Joy looks different to each person, and as part of this project, we wanted to ensure that we spread joy throughout our team, the HBF team, and, most importantly, the Bowmans. This project provided us with an incredible opportunity to spread joy to a family in need and bring joy into our FBC Remodel family as well.
what does build joy mean to you?
“I get to experience Luke having joy again by having a bath, being able to relax, and being able to wash his hands again. For us, the joy is independence, ease of use, and allowing him to be able to go in there, relax, and have a sanctuary.”
– Debbie BowmanLuke’s Mother
“My vision for Build Joy is to design a life that I love that impacts myself and others. Being able to figuratively and literally design something that would make Luke’s life amazing and more beneficial to him was something that I found a lot of Joy in.”
– Kacie AndersonSenior Designer, FBC Remodel
“Finding a family that needs the help and plays such a large role in our community then being able to connect them to a builder that can help bring the vision to life. I love watching people get to serve each other while also connecting and finding joy in that experience” – Alice Wurst, HBF
– Alice WurstAdministrative Manager, HBF
“Doing things that make other people happy. Whether it is renovating a bathroom or giving someone their dream kitchen, to me, it is about changing someone’s life and getting to build them exactly what they dreamed of.”
– Carly EgyedSuperintendent, FBC Remodel
“As the build went on, it brought me more and more joy. To me, Build Joy means that as they build, there is more joy.”
– Luke Bowman
Building Joy in Our Communities
Helping a family like Luke Bowman’s is what truly drives us here at FBC Remodel. The opportunity to provide Luke with a sanctuary all his own through an ADA bathroom remodel and see the impact that it had on his life was an experience that our team will cherish forever. As we look into the future we are excited to expand the areas where we can create these moments of joy for our communities and our team!
If you would like to connect and build joy in the community together reach out to us to see if we would be a good fit.