Murphy Bros. and Make-a-Wish MN Make Dreams Come True

Giving Independence to St. Paul Girl With Spina Bifida

Most young Make-A-Wish® Minnesota recipients wish to meet celebrities or travel to special destinations for an escape from their health challenges. Carolyn is different. She longs for something much closer to home. Two years ago, the St. Paul teen asked for an accessible bathroom off her bedroom.

Not exactly a trip to Disney Land as explained in this story by WCCO TV.

Before and after— Note grab bars and built in's, new Kohler tub.

You see, taking care of her own daily needs without family members’ help has been challenging for Carolyn all her life. Diagnosed with the nervous system disorder spina bifida, she depends on a wheelchair. Make-A-Wish Minnesota granted her wish last summer, but the contractor who initially offered to do the work failed to follow through and no one else seemed interested. Now, thanks to Twin Cities-based Murphy Bros. Design Build Remodel, Carolyn’s wish finally came true.

Murphy Bros. Design/Build team leader Nadia Glynn (right) going over plans with Carolyn's parents Suzi & Kyle

Parents Suzie & Kyle agree that while a more accessible and beautiful bathroom might seem rather basic to most, it's a big step in Carolyn's independence and for the whole family.

Before & After— Fold down bench gives Caroline the independent access to tub/shower.

Murphy Bros. accepted the Make-A-Wish challenge to design and build the bathroom makeover and garnered support from its trade partners and suppliers. In addition, Ride For Wishes hosted a fundraiser to raise money to support Carolyn’s project and several other wishes.

Owner John Murphy was joined by several of his crew as they worked through the heat to complete this bathroom project for Carolyn.

Before & After — new vanity, cabinet storage and LVL flooring, and new pocket door.

“We actually feel privileged to be asked to work on a project like this,” said owner John Murphy. “I think our many strategic partners who are involved in product and labor donations for this project all feel that way too. What higher calling is there than the chance to make a life-changing difference in someone’s life.”

Carolyn's new bathroom includes a new Kohler tub shower, flip-up shower bench, Onyx tub surround, comfort height toilet, Awaken hand shower and a vanity. Also included are Universal Design elements such as tub and toilet grab bars and improve access with a pocket door from Carolyn’s bedroom. Ground-fault protection and lighting will be upgraded.

Donations of labor & materials generously Supplied by Murphy Bros. strategic partners:

On behalf of Make-A-Wish Minnesota, we are grateful to everyone who came together to help grant Carolyn’s wish. Her new bathroom will change her life forever. It will give her the independence to care for herself—Helen Ng, Director of Marketing & Communication Make-A-Wish® Minnesota:

            • Shaw Stewart Lumber
            • Kohler
            • Vetter’s Electric
            • Muska Lighting
            • The Onyx Collection
            • Cheyenne Plumbing
            • Vrooman Carpet
            • Bayer Interiors
            • MN Lead Testers
            • MN Drywall

“This is a wonderful story of how a diverse community is coming together to change a young girl’s life,” agreed Lachelle Semanko, Make-A-Wish Minnesota Director of Program Services.

In addition to the new bathroom Murphy Bros. owner John Murphy decided to add in a little something special...

"On our first visit we noticed the decking leading to Carolyn's front door was sorely in need of some repairs. And, since it's the main entrance, I felt it was more than a matter of aesthetics, but really a safety issue. So while the family was away at a retreat arranged by Make-A-Wish Mn, I had a couple of our carpenters make some important repairs," explains Murphy. "Not only does it look better, I'm no longer afraid to walk on it!"

Murphy Bros. President John Murphy personally managed the project. The award-winning design-build remodeler is celebrating 35 years in business this year. Murphy Bros. was the Better Business Bureau’s 2017 Torch Award for Ethics recipient.

About Make-A-Wish Minnesota
Make-A-Wish Minnesota creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We seek to bring every eligible child's wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child's treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness. Make-A-Wish is the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, serving children in every community in the United States and in more than 50 countries worldwide. Together, generous donors, supporters, staff and more than 700 Minnesota volunteers, grant a wish every 27 hours, on average, somewhere in the state. Since 1982, Make-A-Wish Minnesota has granted more than 5,000 wishes to children in Minnesota. For more information about Make-A-Wish Minnesota, visit

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