ELLSWORTH, Maine — Hancock County Habitat for Humanity has selected the Boccia-Young family as its next partner. The family, Colby and RoseMarie, live in Hancock with their two daughters, Savannah, 16, and Victoria, 10. Victoria has Rett syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes severe impairment, mostly in girls. Habitat is seeking a building site in Hancock on which to build a handicapped-accessible single-level home.
“No words can describe how grateful we are to Habitat and the community for this,” said RoseMarie Boccia-Young. “We’ve had donations from all over — from Texas and Arizona. It’s amazing what people do when they see a picture of Victoria and hear our story. This is a dream come true.”
She hopes work their new home can commence in the fall.
Victoria is one of approximately 40 children in Maine with the syndrome.
“We think positive and keep smiling,” Boccia-Young said.
The family lives in an 812-square-foot second-story apartment with two bedrooms. Currently, Colby Boccia-Young works part time lobstering in order to be available to carry Victoria and her wheelchair up and down the stairs several times a day.
“We will be very grateful to have a one-story home with proper equipment for Victoria’s care so my husband can get back to work full time,” RosMarie Boccia-Young said.
“My husband, daughter Savannah and I need to put in at least 200 hours of ‘sweat equity’ pounding nails,” she said. The new dwelling will be all on one floor with three bedrooms.
Jimmy Goodson, executive director of Hancock County Habitat, described the family as the perfect fit for the next Habitat build.
“This family met all of Habitat’s eligibility guidelines — need, income eligibility, willingness to partner and ability to pay the interest-free mortgage,” he said.
Boccia-Young said she and her family are finding lots of community support for their Habitat project and expressed gratitude to the community. Colby’s cousin, Kip Young, and his band plan to perform a benefit concert. Hancock Grammar School, where Victoria is a student, is planning a Victoria Day Walk-a-thon to raise funds and awareness of Rett syndrome. And the Crocker House in Hancock is planning a benefit dinner. Dates have not yet been set for these fundraisers.
The Boccia-Young family interacts on Facebook with other families who have daughters with Rett syndrome. Victoria has website at girlpower2cure.org/Victoria.
For information about Hancock County Habitat for Humanity, call 667-8484 or visit hancockcountyhabitat.org.
For information about Rett syndrome, visit rettsyndrome.org.