Ryan Nelson, a U.S. Army helicopter pilot and dad from Alabama recently completed a DIY construction project that definitely puts him into the running for father of the year. Nelson’s daughter is bound to a wheelchair due to Type 1 spinal muscular atrophy. He won $1,000 last year via the Fatherly Fund Grant for his plan to create an awesome wheelchair-accessible swing for his daughter and a double-level playhouse where friends and family can play. He put that money to good use a few weeks ago, constructing the ultimate swing, capable of handling a 450-pound wheelchair (as well as several kids) as the first phase.
With a background in engineering and a can-do attitude, Nelson quickly created a safe, relaxing, and fun haven for seven year-old Mary from plans he had designed using tools like Google’s SketchUp. Nelson completed the swing as well as the skeleton of the playset with the help of a few friends, and he still has plenty of aspirations to make this play area even more magnificent. As Nelson says, “The only thing Mary is limited by is our imagination.”
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