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The Joseph Groh Foundation | Grant Recipient | Dennis Hooper


Dennis on his new wheelchair-accessible ramp and platform.

Dec 14, 2022

Dennis’ story begins in Roseburg, Oregon — a city 70 miles south of Eugene. In the 90s and early 2000s, Dennis owned a local landscaping business that serviced both residential and commercial properties in the area.

In 2005, Dennis suffered a terrible accident at his job site. While climbing a ladder, he unexpectedly lost his balance and fell. The resulting injury did irreparable harm to his T 11 vertebrae, leaving him permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

Although Dennis lost all motor function in this region, he continued to retain waist-down sensory function. Tragically, this means that while Dennis cannot move his legs, he continues to experience pain in this area.

Despite the challenges and difficulties that came from his injury, Dennis continued running his business until 2007, when he felt the time was right to sell it and retire.

During his retirement, Dennis found himself spending more time in his home. Having been in the landscape business, he wanted to be able to enjoy his yard and move around as freely there as he does inside his house. Unfortunately, the terrain of his backyard had a steep, uneven incline which would pose a challenge for Dennis to traverse in his wheelchair. Being on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and food stamps, he didn’t possess the resources needed to purchase the necessary ramps and wheelchair platforms.


Dennis' rope system that he used to navigate his yard.

As a makeshift solution, he built a rope system along the fence which he would use to pull himself along - a process that would cause great strain to his shoulders. Over the years, the traversal of his yard became ultimately too challenging, leaving Dennis in desperate need of a better solution.


The new wheelchair-accessible ramp and platform for Dennis' yard.

Thanks to the support of the Joseph Groh Foundation and its generous sponsors, the foundation was able to help build and fund a ramp and platform for Dennis’ yard, enabling it to be more wheelchair accessible.

After receiving their new flooring, the pair were elated. Thanking the foundation, Jaquelyn recalled their journey together arriving in the U.S. saying “We met shortly after he came to the U.S., and a few years later we adopted a beautiful newborn. Life was so beautiful for him and his job meant everything. Despite Worker’s Comp, it has been very difficult since his accident, and his shoulders were bothering him more and more. Thank you, thank you a thousand times, it’s like God has answered our prayers for help.”

Daikin is a proud supporter of The Joseph Groh Foundation. Dennis' story is made possible through the generous donations of the Foundation's sponsors. Light your beacon for others and become a Joseph Groh Foundation Luminary today.