INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — An Independence family is asking people to drink more pop and beer. With the empty cans, they're hoping to transform an empty lot.
Hunter Edwards, 14, and Cody Edwards, 12, were born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a regressive gene disorder. Ever since the boys were two-years-old, they have been wheelchair bound.
In recent years, the boys got larger, powered wheelchairs that have made it harder for them to move around their current home.
"Feels like the walls are closing in on us because of the bigger space that the chairs take up," said Stacie Edwards, mother.
Since purchasing the home in 2005, the Edwards family has remodeled several times to make it more accessible for Hunter and Cody.
Most boys their age can play in their rooms, but for Hunter and Cody, they can't fit with both of their wheelchairs.
In March, Hunter and Cody's parents bought a lot in Independence to build a new wheelchair accessible home, but construction hasn't started.
"We started a 20,000-pound pop can fundraiser," said Stacie.
The Edwards family is raising money for the down payment, so they can break ground on their new home. They're asking that people donate empty pop or beer cans that the family can then take to a local redemption center.
"So far we have collected 2,300 pounds and, in the garage, we have a good start to our next group of 500 pounds, so we're on the way," said Stacie.
Stacie said she does not want to spread her family too thin. A few years ago, they had to buy a new van that could fit the boys chairs. It cost the family $30,000. Even with two full-time jobs, the family has ever-changing bills.
"We've had years where we have paid up to $10,000 in medical expenses," said Stacie.
Now, Stacie and her husband are hoping the community will step up for Hunter and Cody.
"We'll work at it for as long as it takes so that we can get them what they need," said Stacie.
To learn more about the Edwards family and their can fundraiser, click here.
You can also drop off your cans at three local businesses.
Doughboys Donuts - 11559 E 63rd Street, Raytown, MO. (Open Tuesday-Saturday 6 a.m. - noon).
Leighr Pharmacy- 1170 W Kansas Street, Suite K, Liberty, MO. (Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. -6 p.m.).
United Access- 8200 NW 97th Terrace in Kansas City, MO. (Open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.).