West County firefighters make a life changing difference for a little girl

BALLWIN, MO (KPLR) - Two fire departments have joined forces for a little girl in Ballwin.

They've gone from firefighting to home improvement. They're making a life-changing difference for 5-year-old Willow Schreiber.

She has a genetic brain condition called MPPH syndrome.  Willow can only communicate by the look in her eyes and her smile.  For Metro West firefighters and West County EMS & Fire, that smile is enough.

Willow’s mom, Andrea, smiles in the face of struggle.  Maybe she gets it from her little girl.

Willow has inspired a monster effort in her back yard:  a chain gang of two fire departments, Family Touch Remodeling, and the Home Depot are building a new $15,000 deck and ramp, no charge.

“So we can bring her out in her wheel chair through this door, straight in,” Andrea Scheiber said.

None of the volunteers really knew Willow or her family.  Somehow that changed in an instant … with a smile.

“I saw her the first day when we had tear out.  She was at that door in her chair and she was smiling at us.  That’s why we’re here.  That was enough for us,” said West County Fire & EMS Captain, Kevin Smith.

Gone will be the days of fighting to get into the house and to get back out.

They all can picture Willow on that deck.

“I can’t even put into words what this is going to be able to do for her, just to be able to bring her outside.  It’s humbling,” her mom said.

“What it comes down to is we’re doing good for a little girl.  Seeing it today is not as important as seeing her face smile at us through that door,” said Captain Smith.

The Safety House Foundation got a$3,000 grant from Home Depot to make it happen.

Willow has two brothers. Her dad is a Chesterfield police officer. Her mom is her full-time caregiver.  So, building a deck, let alone paying for it, just wasn't an option.

The deck should  be finished in a week.