New landscaping will help homeowner Avrielle Lewis take care of the outside of her home at her own speed.

Home makeover changes woman’s life for the better

Avrielle Lewis is this year's Coast Realty Home Makeover contest.

Avrielle Lewis may have owned her home for 11 years, but she barely recognizes it now. And that’s a good thing, she says.

Lewis is this year’s Coast Realty Home Makeover contest winner. Nominated by her sister Susan Cootes, Lewis’ house on Third Avenue near Montrose Street was treated to a fresh coat of paint, some minor exterior repairs and new landscaping.

“It’s like they took the exterior of my house and yard, picked it up, took it away and put something beautiful there,” Lewis said.

“It’s that big of a difference.”

Lewis suffers from myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune neuromuscular disease that causes fluctuating muscle weakness. Lewis was diagnosed in the early 1980s and since then has had pneumonia more than 50 times and been hospitalized numerous times. It is normal for her to wake up unable to walk, move her neck or have breathing problems.

“Everyday is different,” Lewis explained. “Today I feel spry, like I can take on the world. In two hours, I can be in the hospital, not breathing.”

Coast Realty realtor Gary Gray said Lewis was chosen out of more than 30 nominations because of both need and her history in the community.

“Avrielle has been very involved with community work for as long as she was able to,” Gray said, adding that the house was in need of makeover.

“We look for people in the community who are deserving of some community payback.”

Lewis has been a long-time volunteer for the Salvation Army. She is on disability and lives on her own with her dog, Poppe. She expressed gratitude to her sister, saying she will never be able to thank her enough for nominating her, and to Coast Realty for choosing her as the makeover winner.

Lewis has a renewed sense of pride in her home and the exterior upkeep will be easier thanks to the new landscaping: the front lawn has been replaced with gravel and plants.

“It’s been two weeks and I still can’t believe it,” Lewis said. “I love the plants they put in and they don’t need to be watered all the time.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Team Harrison prevails in Port Alberni men’s bonspiel

Annual bonspiel drew 20 teams from out of town

Wedding plans derailed following City of Port Alberni’s train announcement

Five wedding parties are scrambling to find alternate transportation arrangements to McLean… Continue reading

Kids help Alberni Aquarium build rockfish luminary for next exhibit

Swimming For Change takes over in time for spring break

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

Credit card fraud steals $50,000 from Victoria businesses: police

Crime Reduction Unit investigating several frauds costing several businesses over $50,000

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

B.C. skip Sarah Wark and team eliminated at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Nontheless pretty impressive stuff from the 24th-ranked team in the country

Most Read