Tim Tebow, the "Fixer Upper" show, and a whole lot of support from the community. That's what the Copp family from Waco, Texas, has experienced after starring in an episode of the HGTV show "Fixer Upper" in January."We've had the dream of wanting an accessible home for our boys for
Tim Tebow, the "Fixer Upper" show, and a whole lot of support from the community. That's what the Copp family from Waco, Texas, has experienced after starring in an episode of the HGTV show "Fixer Upper" in January.
"We've had the dream of wanting an accessible home for our boys for about 10 years now," said Melissa Copp. "What I wanted as a parent was to give my sons a house that is 100 percent wheelchair accessible so they could be who they are, and we wouldn't settle for anything less."
After almost 10 years of determination, that dream finally came true when Chip and Joanna Gaines, who remodel homes on the HGTV show, reached out to the family along with Tim Tebow and the Tebow Foundation to build the Copp family their dream home as part of the special "Touchdown for a Family in Need." Jody and Melissa Copp are parents to two boys -- Calan, 9, and Lawson, 5 -- who were born with a life-threatening condition that hinders their ability to stand and walk on their own, causing them to rely on wheelchairs for mobility.
"One of our biggest hopes [by appearing on 'Fixer Upper'] was to show the need for accessibility and show how small changes can make huge differences," said Jody Copp. "It really has given us a platform to be able to discuss it and get people thinking."
Thanks to the dedicated work of the Gaines family, Tim Tebow -- a former NFL quarterback and a Minor League outfielder in the Mets organization -- and a group of excited volunteers, the Copp family's new home allows their two sons the opportunity to be themselves and enjoy all of the features built especially for them.
Calan and Lawson are members of the Lake Air Little League Challenger Division, which provides unique opportunities for individuals with physical and intellectual challenges to experience the game of baseball. Being involved in that program gives both Calan and Lawson a place where they can let out their true competitive spirit.
"One of the things that we have noticed is how quickly someone falls in love with the Challenger program when they see it for the first time," said Mr. Copp. "For me, as a coach, it's really special because I get to be out there with both of my sons and play with them. I get to try to teach them a little bit about baseball, but mainly just let them have fun and teach the importance of getting out and having the experience that we all should have."
For everyone in the Copp family, being involved in the Little League Challenger Division has been a blessing, bringing them all closer together. "It really is a great way for Calan and Lawson to bond, and I love that it does that for a lot of siblings out there," said Mrs. Copp. "The Challenger program allows our sons to experience things they never thought they would, and allows all of the kids' personalities to shine through."
Mr. and Mrs. Copp have tried to get their sons involved in a variety of adaptive programs, but Little League has been the one that has made the biggest difference in their lives.
"Little League has brought us closer together as a family because we found something that we can all be together doing," said Mr. Copp. "Challenger Baseball was the first thing that really brought us all together, and that's why it holds such a special place in our heart." Months after the airing of their special moment on "Fixer Upper,"the Copp Family continues to share the excitement that this opportunity has provided for their family, and are truly proud and thankful for everyone that was involved in helping their dreams come true.
"Thank you to everyone for letting us be the family we were meant to be," said Mrs. Copp. "We never gave up on our dream of allowing our sons to have a home that is accessible to them, and one where they can just be kids. We're experiencing things for the first time with our family now, and everyone who has supported us has allowed us to become stronger, and we are forever grateful."
This article originally appeared in the 2018 Little League Magazine.