EDISON, NJ - Like most 16-year-olds, Julianna Taverney enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing with her dog Ralphie and shopping; but when Taverney began experiencing severe muscle tissue weakness in January of this year, life as she knew it came to a halt.

After multiple doctor visits, Taverney was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a rare disease that weakens connective tissues. By May, she was wheelchair bound and her family had to quickly adjust to their new reality. Taverney’s father, Vincent, built a temporary ramp outside of their home, but had to carry Julianna in and out of their front door since it was not handicap accessible.

When Livingston-based The Briad Group, reached out to the Edison Chamber of Commerce about getting involved in the community, Councilman Joe Coyle shared the Taverneys’ need for a handicap accessible door.  Briad Construction Services, a division of Briad, took action and pulled together plans for not only a handicap accessible door, but also an ADA compliant wheelchair ramp.

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“We have a long history of giving back to the community and taking on this project was an easy decision for us,” said Chuck Pagnotta, Briad Group’s Senior VP of Construction. “Julianna and her family struggled with something so basic in terms of needing to enter the house. It’s rewarding for our entire team to help the family establish some normalcy and to give Julianna greater independence.” 

According to Taverney’s father, the ramp has helped the family further adjust. “It’s been a tough road with lots of doctor visits and tests,” said Vincent. “We’re really grateful for the support of the community and The Briad Group. They’ve helped make this journey a little easier.”

“I truly appreciate The Briad Group’s responsiveness to this situation and for stepping up to help better the lives of a local family,” said Councilman Coyle.  “The Taverney family has gone through a difficult time and we want them to know that the community is here to support them.”