Westmoreland Wheelhouse – A Life-Changing Plan for Adults with Spinal Cord Injuries

With a heartfelt dream and a wealth of personal experience, Kasey Westmoreland and his long-time caregiver and friend, Candace Small, are giving back in a big way!

Introducing Westmoreland Wheelhouse, their non-profit organization with plans to provide a communal, fully accessible home for adults with spinal cord injuries – including the presence of full-time caregivers.

“In 2002, at the age of 16, I suffered a spinal cord injury during a beach accident and became paralyzed from the chest down,” said Kasey. “I have continually struggled with finding – and keeping – reliable caregivers. While I have a very supportive circle of family and friends, having to turn to them too frequently makes it difficult to lead an independent life.” 

A local hospital employee, Candace began providing care for Kasey in 2011 after seeing his ad on Craigslist and finding the hours perfect for her schedule. Experienced with caregiving for all ages, medication management and administrative responsibilities, Candace has since become familiar with the trials and tribulations of a quadriplegic’s struggles, and she and Kasey have become fast friends.

“For many years, the caregiver industry has been greatly underfunded, understaffed and subject to poor accountability,” said Kasey. “We hope to change this with Westmoreland Wheelhouse.” 

Their hope is to provide six individuals with apartment-style living designed to give residents independence and privacy, allowing them to lead a more purpose-filled life. Although experiences vary, people with SCI are capable of furthering their education, employment and enjoyment of life. Westmoreland Wheelhouse will also provide age-appropriate activities for its residents, who will also have the independence to leave the home to do normal activities, as if they were living by themselves.

While extra assistance already exists for children and the elderly, Westmoreland Wheelhouse will aim to house individuals from 18 to 55 years old, but every unique situation will be considered.

“It’s also important to add that, with dependable care, individuals with spinal cord injuries can have careers and be productive citizens,” said Candace. “Kasey has a college degree but hasn’t been able to depend on his caregivers to help him put his talents to use.”

“Being a caregiver is one of the most underpaid and underappreciated jobs,” said Candace. “With Westmoreland Wheelhouse, we hope to make a change! Caregivers need to be compassionate and reliable, and the goal for our home is to treat residents and caregivers like family.”

Kasey and Candace would like to have land purchased and construction started by the end of 2024, with the home opening in 2025. They are currently raising funds for land purchase and construction, while spreading the word and building relationships with partners in the community. Kasey’s story certainly touches the heart, and the hope is for companies and community leaders to continue expanding their support of the project. 

Westmoreland Wheelhouse has the following events scheduled for 2024:

– HiWire Brewery Cornhole Tournament – April 27th 

– Lowe’s Foods in Huntersville Giveback – May 20th

– Lead Slinging Classic – May 11th

– Golf Tournament in Mooresville – September 26th

They also hope to hold an appreciation gala for supporters in the fall. Kasey and Candace would welcome community support to become more involved with local events, and they hope to schedule online events, as well. The success of Westmoreland Wheelhouse depends on working together with friends and businesses in the area – with the long-term blessing of changing lives!

For more information about how you can become involved with the mission, or to make a donation, visit WestmorelandWheelhouse.org, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram @westmoreland.wheelhouse. Westmoreland Wheelhouse is located at 13420 Westmoreland Road in Huntersville.


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