Made of Gray

The Gift of a Lifetime

"Caleigh's Pool"Holly D Gray13 Comments
At the beginning of the year we reached out to the Make-A-Wish foundation for Caleigh. She was in a good spot health wise and it just seemed like the right time. Long story short, Caleigh asked for a swim spa. It's kinda like a hot tub only bigger, deeper and without the seating. She had been asking to swim everyday. Even when we were snowed in back in January. Caleigh's loves in life are swimming and music respectively. Her wish was swimming. So Eric and I went on their website and discovered the swim spa idea. Everyone went with it. The problem was that they are super expensive. We had no clue. Caleigh's wish had to go to the national board for approval and even then there was a limit that made it difficult for our wish granters to find something for her. As soon as Caleigh's wish went to the board, the swim spa idea was taken off of their national website.

The day before we left for vacation, back in July, we got a call that something had come through. There are many rules when dealing with a large charitable group. The problem was that we would have to dig and lay a cement vault, pay for electrical hook up and then pay for the chemical filtration to be changed to salt water at a later time. Add that up and we are talking anywhere from $6000-$12000. Not exactly a feel good wish for mom and dad, but if that is what Caleigh wanted we were willing to go the distance. Since we were leaving the next day, we told them we would think about it, and get back to them when we got home.
In the mean time, we got with a friend of the family, in a round about way, who owns a local pool company, Claffey Pools. We asked for them to come out and bid a small spa, in ground, just to see what the difference would be since we would be paying a portion anyways. They checked out our backyard while we were gone and we made an appointment to meet with them the week after we returned.

We made it to our appointment with a sick Caleigh. Her pain and stooling was just terrible that day. The ocean and public condo pool had taken a toll on her intestines during our vacation. She actually stooled twice during our meeting that day. We were exhausted from being up with her the night before. Eric and I were there to get our quote, and think about it when things were more stable for Caleigh.

When we walked into the showroom, the spa design that was up on the projection screen was huge, elaborate, and completely out of our reach financially. I was actually a little disappointed that they didn't listen to our request for a "small simple spa." I got ready, in my head, to simplify the design. The appointment was scheduled so that the Claffey's whole family could be there. As Eric and I sat in the showroom with Caleigh, everyone introduced themselves and then they pointed out the preliminary design on the wall. All the while, listening and answering everything Caleigh was saying and asking on her iPad.

You get where I'm going with this, don't you?

The Claffey family began to tell us that they wanted to build Caleigh her very own heated pool. A pool that would be accessible to her for her lifetime. Claffey Pools, with a long list of vendors willing to donate everything necessary for Caleigh's pool, would be making this possible. Words simply can not describe our shock. Some of the comments before the appointment led us to believe that there might be a small discount, but under no circumstances did we imagine something of this magnitude would be given to Caleigh, to our family. Have you priced a custom pool lately? There are a thousand other expenses that Caleigh requires before an in-ground pool would ever be on our list. It's still mind baffling to this day.

Looking back I feel awkward about our reactions. Eric and I didn't say much other than thank you with the ever so slight deer in the headlights look. What can you say really? Caleigh threw out several thank yous as well. I recall mentioning our grass and sprinklers. As in, our grass will be messed up afterward, who's gonna fix that. Nice, huh? Like they've never done this before.

The past couple of months have been filled with permits, an electrical re-route and a gas main hook-up. Every time someone came to our house to work, Caleigh would ask to go swimming. The pool plans are up on the fridge and we talk about them often. The anticipation has been wonderful. What an exciting thing for her to look forward to.
This pool will be an amazing thing for Caleigh in so many ways. She is free to move without the assistance of another person or a piece of equipment. Caleigh sleeps better when she has swam that day. She is happier and her muscles are more relaxed. With the pool chemistry and those swimming being in our control, the risk of infection is dramatically lower for her. The one activity that Caleigh enjoys tremendously paired with the therapeutic benefits of warm water is just the happiness our girl needs.

A HUGE Thank You to the amazing Claffey Pools Family and these wonderful vendors donating their services to Caleigh's pool.

Mac's Excavating
Maddox Steel & Plumbing
Prestige Gunite
Gustavo Martin Tile & Coping
Alliance Materials
Avery Irrigation
Southwestern Plumbing
Pebble Technology
Zodiac Pool Systems
A & B Plaster
Mackie Electric
Kids Matter International

Today is the day that digging starts. If all goes well, we are looking at 4-5 weeks to completion. Caleigh is over the moon excited, and quite honestly we are right along with her. The idea of Caleigh swimming in her very own heated pool anytime she wishes is truly the gift of a lifetime. We are extremely thankful and blessed to know the ever so caring Claffey Family.
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