Steps 2 Hope completes project for local injured athlete - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Steps 2 Hope completes project for local injured athlete

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It's been a tough road for the Whitten family, after Austin Whitten was injured in a swimming accident nearly 2 years ago. But with the help of numerous volunteers, it's about to get a little bit easier.

"I think the stuff we do is a means to become friends and encouragers and people to help them down the road," said Mark Wilson, Executive Director of Steps 2 Hope.

It took 2-1/2 days and over 100 volunteers to complete a project to help make the life of one wheel chair bound student a little easier.

"We couldn't say thanks enough; especially to Steps 2 Hope. They've got the want to come and help people out and you don't find a lot of people like that," said Austin Whitten.

Lafayette High School Football Star, Austin Whitten, was left partially paralyzed after a swimming accident in 2012.
A ramp was built off the Whitten home, but getting Austin in an out of the car could take up to 15 minutes and in the event of inclement weather, it made getting him in and out a little more difficult.
"It went kind of away from where we park and when it would rain or anything like that, we would try to hold umbrellas over Austin," said Angie Whitten, Austin's Mom. "We got to where we would put towels over him so it would get most of it."

But that thought is now a thing of the past and the car port that volunteers and workers for Steps 2 Hope built will help make a difficult situation a little easier on the whole family.

"This carport will definitely help out a 100 times more," said Austin.

Donations were made to build the new addition and the Whitten family plans to pay it forward.

"We've been on the other side now and we want to help them and continue with future projects and continue what they're doing," said Angie. "We will never be able to repay their generosity, but we will try to help them as much as we can."

If you would like to know how you can participate or donate to Steps 2 Hope, click here.

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