Improved HealthThe Nolans now have a mould-free home where dad Ken's health has stabilized, allowing him to enjoy precious time with his family


Suffering from severe emphysema, Ken Nolan used to worry about what would happen to his family if he were to die. Today he breathes a little easier knowing his wife and four children have a safe place to live—a new Habitat for Humanity home.

Ken and his family lived for a dozen years in a rental house that was falling apart, badly sealed and literally run through with mould that significantly worsened Ken's lung condition. During their final years there, Ken couldn't even climb the stairs and was forced to sleep on the living room couch.

He says moving day felt like a dream. "It's not about materialism, it's about security. I've seen families split up when one parent dies because they can't afford to stay together. Now, no matter what happens to me, my family will have this place,” he says. Ken's health and quality of life improved soon after the family settled into their Habitat home. His visits to the doctor became less frequent. It's not just because the house is mould-free, but also because the move lifted a weight of worry from Ken's shoulders. "It's a big stress relief for Ken to know his family is taken care of,” says his wife, Diane. In addition to providing greater stability and security, the new house has also eased the Nolan's financial strain. Far more energy-efficient than their former residence, Diane figures the Habitat home saves the family about $300 a month in utility costs—money they can put toward food, clothes and activities for their kids. The Nolans are committed to giving back to Habitat for Humanity. Ken and Diane plan to share their experience with others going through the Habitat process. As well, they hope to participate in future builds.

Ken has been deeply moved by all that Habitat has done for his family. He sums up his feeling in four simple words: "It's a total miracle.”

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