Wednesday, December 08, 1999

Wooden Ramp could help Pleasant Ridge man




BY MIKE PULFER
The Cincinnati Enquirer

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The ramp on Steve Lamb's home doesn't meet code.
(Saed Hindash photo)
| ZOOM |
        Multiple sclerosis has Steve Lamb trapped in his house in a body that refuses to work.

        Always an outdoorsman, Mr. Lamb, 39, was diagnosed at 22 in 1982. Today, he is unable to drive, unable to work, unable to get himself out of the house on the Pleasant Ridge street where he grew up.

        Before the disease settled in, he was a backpacker, softball player and house painter/handyman with plenty of time to worry about the future.

        Then, “I really had to switch gears,” he said.

        Now a licensed pharmacist, he quit his job at a Dayton, Ohio, Veterans Administration facility two years ago, after counselors told him driving had become too much of a challenge.

        Mr. Lamb and his wife, Kathy Spaite, a part-time nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital and part-time student in medical massage therapy, are buying the house where they live — the one Kathy grew up in — from her parents.

        But the front steps are impassable in Mr. Lamb's electric chair. A new wooden ramp that would criss-cross the front lawn would give him access to Access, Metro's buses for the disabled, and the chance to go job shopping. He cannot write anymore, but he says he could work on a voice-activated computer.

        “The thing is, I can't get out to see what kind of jobs are out there,” he said. “I can't even go to an interview.”

        What he can do is watch television (baseball and basketball), read (when his hands are willing to turn pages) and do basic floor exercises to keep body organs in working order.

        The couple spends hours in their upstairs bedroom, watching birds at the feeders and baths outside their window.

        They can't go for walks in the park anymore, so, “we really had to bring the park here,” he said.

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