• Group renovates home of boy battling severe disorder


    BUFORD, Ga. - The parents of a 2-year-old Winder boy hit by a tree limb during Hurricane Sandy are lending their support to another local family whose son is battling a severe neurological disorder.

    Channel 2 crews captured tears and cheers as the results of an all-day extreme home makeover for the Self family in Buford were revealed.

    Four-year-old Gavin Self is battling mitochondrial disease and severe ataxia, which gives him muscle spasms at night that have made sleeping in his own bed unsafe. The family's community - along with the nonprofit group Sunshine on a Ranney Day - decided it was time to do something to help.

    The Self's previously unfinished basement is now a fully functional space for the whole family, where Gavin can receive therapy. His mother, Stephanie, said they are overwhelmed.

    Among the crowd watching eagerly as the results of the project were revealed was Bill Halstead. The community has rallied around his family since his son Tripp was hit in the head by a tree limb during Hurricane Sandy. Halstead said it feels great to do the same for someone else.

    The Halsteads and the Selfs have actually become close friends, even bonding at the hospital over their sons and the battles they are both fighting. Thanks to donations, this $20,000 project only cost the nonprofit about $3,000 to complete. They said they plan to do a similar project for Tripp Halstead once he goes home.

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