ROGERS CITY — Lorraine Micketti could not express her gratitude without tears of joy as a wheelchair ramp was being built onto the front of her Rogers City home.
Habitat for Humanity Northeast Michigan and Micketti’s family teamed up to build the ramp with materials donated from Home Depot. The project did not cost Micketti a dime, thanks to both Home Depot and Habitat for Humanity Northeast Michigan’s Critical Home Repair program.
Micketti, 91, is the widow of veteran Anthony Micketti, who served in the Army Air Force, she said.
When she heard that this ramp was going to be built at no cost to her, she said through tears, “I thanked my husband (whom she lost 10 years ago) for watching over me, and helping me get this set up, because of him being a veteran.”
She is elated with the ramp and all the help from Habitat workers and her family members. She has been homebound and struggling to be able to leave the house since January. She had surgery for cancer, but said she is cancer free now.
“It will make going outside much easier,” she said of the ramp. “It’s just awesome, what they’re doing. I can go on my front porch, go outside through my front door.”
She used to have to slowly struggle down the side door steps with the help of a family member, friend or neighbor.
“My daughter-in-law — there’s somebody here every night with me,” Micketti said of her son’s wife Cindy Micketti.
She added that her daughter Nancy was a great help making chili for all the workers.
“I can’t complain,” Micketti added. “I have a wonderful family … that’s a wonderful crew out there. They’re a happy group; they’re good workers.”
Cindy Micketti said her mother-in-law can reclaim some of her independence now and get out of the house easier.
“She has so many neighbors that love to sit and say ‘Hello,’” Cindy Micketti said. “She gets out on the sun porch now but this is going to be so great.”
It adds a layer of safety as well for Lorraine Micketti, said Cindy Micketti.
“She’s been through quite a journey,” she added of her beloved mother-in-law. “She’s quite a lady. She’s raised an amazing family.”
“She’s gone through some pretty rough times right here, with her operation she had back in March, she had some cancer that was removed,” said her son Ken Micketti, who helped build the ramp. “And then the rehab, where she was at, wasn’t really working out as well as we thought it would … Now that she’s home, she’s coming along. A home makes a big difference for elderly people to recover. It really does. But she is going to be wheelchair bound from this point on.”