EUREKA, Mo. — According to the CDC roughly 61 million people, or roughly 1 in 4 Americans, are living with disabilities that can make it difficult for them to do daily tasks, let alone travel.
That's why a Eureka family is working to create a space where people of all abilities can bloom.
Jeremiah and Kristy DeGuire's story is as unique as the flowers on their farm.
“We were playing softball in Tower Grove,” said Jeremiah DeGuire. “Trying to get out of a storm at Trueman’s Place in South City. A two-story brick wall went through the roof, and I had a T12 compression fracture. I was paralyzed from that point on.”
“We have three children,” said Kristy DeGuire. “Maria and Jude were born at 24 weeks. Jude had a brain bleed when he was two days old and has cerebral palsy. He has learned to walk with a walker, and now he’s walking with a cane, and just thriving through life really.”
In the DeGuire household, there’s no such thing as a disability.
“We’ve had 3 kids,” said Jeremiah DeGuire. “We’ve got 4 cats, a dog, 15 chickens.”
“It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it,” said Kristy DeGuire.
“We have the funny farm,” said Jeremiah DeGuire. “It’s been an experience.”
However, they’re often faced with the harsh reality that not every where is as accommodating as it is at home.
“Finding a spot where we can vacation or get away and have it accessible is very difficult,” said Kristy DeGuire. “Everybody has steps.”
“You want to be able to go somewhere and not have to say well we’ve got to look at this and we’ve got to look at that,” said Jeremiah DeGuire.
The DeGuires are determined to make a difference for those with disabilities.
“The bouquets that we sell go specifically towards raising money to create what we call the Wheels2Fields retreat,” said Kristy DeGuire.
The retreat would have fully-inclusive cabins and opportunities for kayaking, fishing, and other activities next to the Great Lakes in Wisconsin.
“We want to make it 100% accessible,” said Jeremiah DeGuire.
In order to create a space where people of all abilities can bloom Wheels2Fields has set an ambitious goal of raising $60,000, but they say it’s worth every penny.
“When you take someone and have them in a place where they can fully be themselves and not inhibit them with something you see a whole different side of them,” said Jeremiah DeGuire.
“You can’t help but smile,” said Kristy DeGuire.
In order to accomplish their goal, Wheels2Fields flowers are being sold at pop-up events around Eureka as well as online.
If there’s something newsworthy where you live send us an email to email@example.com and our team of reporters will look into it.