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Advertisement Dream Factory returns to Ramsey's to help local girl
by Nancy Grindle Correspondent · October 12th, 2017


On this coming Monday, October 16, a very special event will take place at Ramsey's Bistro in Uptown Marion from 6 to 10 p.m. Volunteers from the Dream Factory of Iowa will be the servers at Ramsey's, and all tips will go to help fulfill a young lady's dreams. She is wheel-chair bound and would like to be able to move around in her home without help all the time.

We spoke with both Conrad Ramsey and Natasha Murdock, president of the Dream Factory of Iowa, on the weekend. The Dream Factory has teamed with Ramsey's multiple times to give help to someone who needs assistance.

This year the young lady is from Marion. Her name is Sasha Duval and she was diagnosed with Arthogryposis and severe scoliosis.

The first of these is congenital joint contractures in two or more areas of the body, which make it very difficult and very painful to move the affcted joints.

Sasha was adopted by the Duval family and brought to the United States in 2012 after being in an orphanage in the Ukraine in which she suffered severely, both physically and emotionally. She has undergone extensive medical procedures and she will have a major operation before the end of the year.

Representatives from the Dream Factory toured Sasha's home. Currently she has a wheel chair indoors, but it is not a power chair and someone must push her from room to room.

Ironically, Sasha also has a power wheel chair, but it cannot come into the house. In order to do so, a permanent sturdy ramp needs to be built that meets building codes. It is estimated that such a ramp would cost $4,000 to $8,000 for the materials and installation.

Once the ramp is constructed, the doorways of the home need to be widened so the power chair can transport her from room to room. The estimate for this work is anywhere from $600 to $2,500 for materials and installation.

A third part of Sasha's dream is to install handicap accessible doors so she can open them on her own. The estimate for this work and materials ranges from $675 to $2,000.

At the least expensive, the cost would be $5,275 and at the high end, the cost would be around $12,500.

The Cedar Rapids Chapter of Dream Factory is the only chapter in Iowa, and it has only been in existence since March 2015. So far the chapter has helped a boy from Cedar Rapids who has Spina Bifida, a girl from Cedar Rapids with Type 1 diabetes, and a young lady from Mason City who has Juvenile Arthritis and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Murdock is planning to bring pictures and their stories to share Monday evening.

One of the impressive points about Dream Factory is that 90 percent of all money raised goes to the actual fulfillment of the child's dream. One reason is that the Dream Factory does no marketing. Another is that only three people in the whole organization receive salaries, and they work in the national office. We found out that Murdock is a volunteer on the national board of directors.

Another impressive point is that Dream Factory does not limit its mission to only children who have life-threatening illnesses. It tries to assist any child from age 3 to 18 who needs help. It is rated as a four-star charity for its success record, the highest rating available from Charity Navigator.

Yet a third point is that everyone in the Cedar Rapids group is totally volunteer. No one receives a salary. Most of the volunteers come from Mercy Pediatric Clinic at Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids, but if you wish to join them in their quest, you are most welcome to do so.

Conrad Ramsey said he is very pleased to be working with Murdock again. He noted that she and the Dream Factory are becoming better known in Marion. Both of them also are extremely pleased that people from Marion are wonderful about stepping up and helping those in need within the community.

We found out that Murdock's husband Shane owns a Marion business called Masters Masonry. In addition to their son Isaiah, age 11, who is in the picture with his mom and Ramsey, they have three other sons - Noah (age 9), Mason (7) and Jaxson (3).

We hope many will take some time to stop in at Ramsey's on Monday between 6 and 10, have a good meal, talk with Murdock and leave a good tip or donation to help Sasha. In addition to funds, anyone who wants to help with the actual work on the home is welcome to contact Murdock at nmurdock@mercycare.org
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