Stairway of Hope: The Best Birthday Present


Brenda Santiago is the local mother of two-year-old Naty and her two older siblings, who attend South Milwaukee schools. (One plays basketball with my son.)

Brenda wanted to give Naty a birthday present of a lifetime, one that would also help in her therapy. Naty suffers from Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia Congenita, also known as SEDc. It is advanced dwarfism, and the condition has limited her bone growth.

I’ll let Brenda take it from here, from Facebook …

Today Naty received a special birthday gift from the Home Depot! She has enjoyed walking up and down her new stairs and plopping herself in her bed. I walked in to the store on Sunday and spoke to Rob Rafalski about what my idea and needs were. We spoke for about 20 minutes or so and by the end of the conversation rather then telling me what supplies were best, he offered to get a crew together and build it for Naty. He wanted to do something special for a special girl. Rob and the team at home depot took a drawing I had and turned it into a reality within a matter of days, staying after shift to make sure it was done in time for Naty to be able to take it home and use on her birthday. Not only did they build it, but they had a team decorate it fit for a princess! They worked hard and it is greatly appreciated. I am amazed at how much effort and creativity these wonderful people put into this project for a child most of them had never even met. It’s moments like these….when a group of strangers can come together to shower my daughter with love…the emotion I have is unexplainable. Although Naty may not be able to know or remember what is going on, this is a day I will never forget.

TMJ4 told the story last week.


Filed under South Milwaukee

4 responses to “Stairway of Hope: The Best Birthday Present

  1. Joe popp

    Wow good job Home Depot and mayor
    Good to see the bigger box stores get involved. I will, and others should pay it back by shopping there and supporting a business that helps the needy in our community.

  2. C.M.Clauer

    Which Home Depot location was this? I would love to give them my business as they are a credit to the company.

  3. Katherine Malczewski

    So very touching. It is wonderful when people outside of the family help children with limitations. My grandson had limitations and I know first hand the sometimes stress of making a certain his needs are met. What a blessing for this sweet little girl!!!

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