Thanks to one determined family with a disabled child, one Fort Worth pool just became much more accessible.
Just like any 9-year-old kid, Malachi Jacoby loves to swim. But the simple summer joy has become more and more difficult.
Getting in and out of the Ridglea Pool in Fort Worth was nearly impossible for Malachi with his Duchenne Muscular Distrophy.
"As his muscles are progressing in his disease, he wasn't able to walk out on the steps,” said his father, Sean Jaboby.
The private pool built decades ago had no pool lift or handicap ramps. And although the pool association wanted to install one, it couldn't swing the $10,000 price tag.
“It requires a lot of cost in maintenance, so the income only comes from family memberships,” explained Sean.
So Malachi's family had an idea: Why not just raise the money themselves?
The family set up a GoFundMe page, and within a few months, they surpassed their goal.
Back in April, crews installed the brand new pool lift. They also installed several ramps around the facility including one that leads to the pool.
"It just made me feel how people really do care,” said Pool Association Member Luan Mancini. “And I think we also pulled money, not just from our own members, I think we pulled money from the community. So they really do care."
For Malachi, the lift changes the game.
"When he's in the pool, he's weightless,” said Sean. “It’s like he's just one of the other kids that's in the pool being able to do the things that they get to do."
Malachi isn't the only one who benefits from the lift. The pool association has several elderly members who have been wanting the lift for a long time. Even those who are rehabilitating an injury can now get into the pool.