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2013 Designing for Veterans

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 James Martin Associates Partners with Designing for Veterans to Help a Real-Life Hero

Real life angels do exist. Just ask Dan Tsutsumi, a 27-year-old paralyzed Marine Corps Veteran who for the last 17 months had been in hospitals and rehabilitation centers and most recently been sleeping on a hospital bed in his parent’s dining room.

The angel is Carol Cisco and her team at Designing for Veterans. Designing for Veterans is a non-profit interior design organization that provides pro bono professional interior design services, planning, furnishings and construction/remodel to severely disabled veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars at no cost to the veteran or their families.

Enter Heidi Sibert and Kristi Robinson of James Martin Associates. On September 30, 2013, Carol Cisco personally came by the Vernon Hills office to introduce herself and explain her needs. The home and deck for Tsutsumi was already underway, but the outside living space still needed the right touch. This project was something James Martin Associates was immediately drawn to. For several years James Martin Associates has helped to support the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund and has been extremely active in other various charitable interests.

One of the many components going into a functional outdoor living space for Tsutsumi was a therapeutic garden. James Martin Associates came up with the plans for a wheelchair accessible sidewalk/patio and ramp as well as selecting specific flowers and trees that would help calm and aid Tsutsumi during his recovery. A beautiful water feature, visible from his window, added to the serenity of this garden.

With the help of Nick Miller of Lightscapes in Lake Bluff and Kurt Markl at Aspen Valley in Park City, landscape lighting, boulders, and sod were donated to help bring this garden to fruition. Kristi Robinson, Registered Landscape Architect on the project said, “It was a great honor to be able to give back to someone who has done so much for our country. Our hope is that Marine Sgt. Daniel Tsutsumi finds peace and enjoyment in his new garden space.”

The project was completed on November 9, 2013 and Tsutsumi was able to move into his new home on Veteran’s Day, November 11. The timing couldn’t have been planned better for a real-life hero.

Visit http://www.designingforveterans.org to learn more about Designing for Veterans and how you can help. 

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