Both of Marshall's knees ruptured while he was playing on a trampoline with his grandchildren in
"I spent six months in the nursing home learning to walk again through rehab, and I was in a lot of pain," he said. "I lost my job and became very depressed. I let my stress levels rise, gained weight and wasn't keeping up with my hygiene."
Marshall said he was ultimately able to fight back because of his family -- particularly his eight grandchildren.
"I understand that I'm not an island unto myself," he said. "There were plenty of times I wanted to give up, but I kept thinking of how I wanted to get up and ride bikes with my grandkids again. "
Little by little, life for Marshall fell back into place. He sought out assistance from the
"To his credit, he remains so positive," Tredway said. "He's optimistic about his life, and he's very thankful and humble."
Volunteers are expected to complete Marshall's home by December, and he wants to create a getaway for his grandchildren once he moves in. He currently lives with family in
"I want a place where they can run freely," he said. "My roommate wasn't a kid person, but I am ... at my age, I'm also thinking about finances. I was really happy to be approved because of the low interest rate on the mortgage, and I want to be financially stable as I get older."
In the meantime, Marshall said the most important thing has been patience. He visits
"The opportunity to purchase a Habitat home is life-changing, and it's a unique one for each applicant," Tredway said. "They're very proud of their home because they're involved in the process, and they have to put in hours of classwork to prepare to become responsible homeowners."
Marshall will also have a new neighbor in
Vaughn has worked as a head chef for
He currently lives in a small rental home with his sister, but said the landlord often brings people over to look at the property and could sell it soon.
"I can't afford (a traditional) mortgage down payment and I don't know where to start," Vaughn said in a release provided by Habitat. "I never thought anyone would care about me and my future and it shows God is always listening when you pray."
"In the last couple of years, we brought in about
The organization was also scheduled to hold its Houses of Hope Summer Shindig this weekend, but COVID-19 forced its cancellation. Tredway said Habitat remains committed to the golf fundraiser and developing new events for 2021. More information on the event is available at www.habitatnashville.org/wilsongolf.
"We encourage everyone to sign up and join us," he said. "There are still some sponsorships available, and it's going to be a lot of fun."
COVID-19 has also impacted Habitat's build schedule, which is expected to begin later this month with four straight weekends of volunteer work.
Although Marshall's injuries have kept him from joining in, he appreciates seeing people from different backgrounds come together at a time when the
"Everyone was working together for a common goal, and that's something this country needs," he said. "To learn that yes, we're different, but at the end of the day we all want the same thing: to be healthy and take care of our families. That's the bottom line."
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