NEBO, KENTUCKY — Mark Plunkette walks around the construction area, carrying boards and climbing ladders. He does his best to help out while he still can.
“His condition is getting worse and he’s realizing that,” Mona Bloodworth, Mark’s counsin-in-law, said. “It’s getting worse by the week.”
Two years ago, Mark was diagnosed with bulbar amytrophic sclerosis, or ALS. The particular type of ALS originates in the mouth before spreading throughout the rest of the body.
“Everybody’s just devastated and shocked,” Bloodworth said. “We didn’t know anything about it and we’re still learning daily about it.”
“His tongue don’t move, his mouth don’t work and he’s losing his voice,” Becky Plunkette, Mark’s wife of 23 years, said.
Eventually, Mark will become unable to move, bound to a wheelchair. Mark said before he was diagnosed with ALS, it was his dream to build a new home for his family.
“This is something I wanted to do for a long time,” he said.
Now his dream is becoming a reality. A fundraising campaign organized by Mark’s family has raised more than $30,000 for his new home, which will also be wheelchair accessible.
“We knew it was important to him, his wife and their two boys to all stay together throughout this journey,” Bloodworth said.
“I want to be able to take care of him,” Becky said.
Even the manpower is free, with volunteers like James Traylor helping out.
“I’ve had some dreams that came true, so I know what it feels like to have something come true for you,” he said. “It’s a good feeling.”
“If there’s a silver lining to the cloud, it definitely makes you see the good in people,” Bloodworth said.
For Mark and Becky, this house has become a light through their storm.
“It is amazing,” Becky said. “I didn’t know it would come together so fast.”
It’s proof that with a lot of love and a little bit of pixie dust – or saw dust in this case – dreams really do come true.
The project is running low on funds and is still looking for donations to complete the house. More information can be found on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/carrytheloadstrengthformark
People can donate at First United Bank of Hopkins County in Madisonville, Kentucky under “Silent Run Church” or through their Go-Fund-Me account: https://www.gofundme.com/carrythload.