What happens when you send America's most energetic and enthusiastic makeover king to Merry Olde England to help the locals save one of the country's few outdoor community pools? For Ty Pennington, host of the Emmy Award-winning series "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," it was a challenge he embraced, traveling to Portishead on the Severn estuary. With his passport in hand and his reputation on the line, Ty crossed the Atlantic and embarked on the journey for his second special, "Ty's Great British Adventure 2011,".
First Lady Michelle Obama makes an appearance in the ninth-season opener in which the Steps-N-Stages Jubilee House for homeless female veterans in Fayetteville, N.C., founded by Navy veteran Barbara Marshall, is renovated with the help of armed-forces members.
Conclusion. First Lady Michelle Obama makes an appearance in the ninth-season opener in which the Steps-N-Stages Jubilee House for homeless female veterans in Fayetteville, N.C., founded by Navy veteran Barbara Marshall, is renovated with the help of armed-forces members.
Fun-loving, impish Jonah Gomez is like any loveable, mischievous little boy in the first grade, with hopes and dreams of becoming a professional soccer player. His love of life has not been diminished by the fact that he has blood disorders which have caused him to undergo open-heart surgery. Mom Jessica and younger sister Ellie have made every effort to help Jonah live his life to the fullest. Despite Jonah's illness and the fact that Jessica had to give up her airline job to take care of him, the Gomez Family have done their best to soldier on, never losing their love of life and having fun. When Jonah is healthy enough, he plays on a soccer team and attends games of Salt Lake Real soccer team, whose players have become his protective friends and supporters. Although Jonah must take oxygen while he sleeps and is often not able to play outside with the extreme weather in Utah, you'd never know it from his joyful demeanor. He seems like every other kid: excited to play soccer and to joke with his sister.
The Gomez Family are much loved in their community, which has rallied around to help keep Jonah happy and healthy while also spreading the word about the importance of bone marrow donorship. So far there has been no bone marrow match for Jonah. He faces a tougher challenge than most because he's of Latin descent and statistically fewer minorities join the National Marrow Donor Program. Jessica has not only assumed a proactive role in identifying the best treatment options, she's also been a passionate advocate for bone marrow donation and cord blood donation, and for spreading the word about the need for minority bone marrow donorship -- an issue many people are unaware of.
Anaiah Rucker is a smart, fun, athletic, sweet, straight-A student with the dream of attending Harvard and becoming a doctor or lawyer, though she will be a fifth grader this fall. That dream was threatened on February 4, 2011 when Anaiah, then just 9 years old, saved her 5-year-old sister, Camry, by pushing her out of the path of an oncoming truck. Anaiah was struck herself, leaving her with massive, life-threatening injuries. Undaunted by these injuries, she has endured the amputation of her left leg and grueling rehab to get her body back in shape so she can continue playing sports, singing in the chorus, and working hard at her studies. Happy to have her best friend and sister Camry safe and sound, Anaiah and her family are focused on getting her well and making her stronger than ever, which is a challenge because she is currently wheelchair bound.
Loved by all who know her, Anaiah has been showered with affection and support by her small-town community of Madison. The town has rallied around this heroine, helping her family in any way they can. Kids at school have sold "bottle cap" necklaces, community groups have had barbecues and perfect strangers have given Anaiah a helping hand and well wishes. Her story has been heard "'round the world," as celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Dwight Howard have reached out to her. Despite many challenges, the family is tighter than ever, and mom Andrea is grateful that both of the daughters she adores are still here. Although they have few resources, they still retain a positive, upbeat, inspiring attitude.
Andrea loves kids - she says her two beautiful daughters are her "whole life" - and despite her time limitations, she extends that love of children by volunteering at the local Boys & Girls Club. This affords her more time with her girls, as well as letting her get to know the kids in her community. Andrea would love to establish programs at the Boys & Girls Club for mothers and mentoring programs for young girls.
The "EM:HE" design team has just seven days to build a brand new home for Anaiah and her family, one that is safe, secure, ADA-accessible and free of obstacles, where the girls can continue to study hard and pursue their dreams. The Rucker family has been whisked away on a dream vacation to Walt Disney World. There, Anaiah is surprised by basketball star Dwight Howard (who donates $50,000 to the family from his D12 Foundation), as well as Katie Holloway, an amputee who played college basketball and was on the U.S. Paralympic Sitting Volleyball team. Dwight and Katie both provide inspiration to Anaiah to play sports again.
After giving birth to Hailey, who was born with dwarfism, Jimmy and Darlene Korpai turned their attention to advocating for their little girl. As President and Vice President of the New York chapter of Little People of America, their goal is to erase ignorance, increase understanding and give families of little people support and help. On an even more personal level, they also dream of having a home that offers their daughter independence and autonomy, so she can grow from the happy-go-lucky, playful girl she is at this moment into a strong adult who can rely on herself, not letting her size deter her from pursuing her life.
High school sweethearts Jimmy and Darlene Korpai had been planning their life together since they were 17. They got married, bought a great piece of property with a two-story fixer-upper and got pregnant - all according to plan. Fifteen minutes after Hailey was born, Jimmy and Darlene's carefully orchestrated future took a turn. They learned that their new baby girl had a form of dwarfism, and for weeks that was about all they knew. Information was hard to find, and it took them months just to learn that there was a Little People support group in their area. Hailey is now 5, and the Korpais have added baby brother Hudson, 1, and a whole lot of advocacy to their lives, but no more room to their home. More importantly, they don't have the right kind of rooms in their home to keep Hailey safe, independent and happy, or to host functions and meetings for their organization. They dream of a space where Hailey can grow up with access to every aspect of the house - one which allows her the freedom and independence to do everyday things on her own, like brush her teeth, bake, turn off light switches, etc. The Korpai home is also the facility for the New York chapter of Little People of America, so there is a need for it to be one-story and wheelchair accessible to accommodate little people visitors, as well as Hailey.
Dad Steve Keefer retired early to nurture his son Brian, a star athlete who became paralyzed in a life-threatening accident in 2008, just before his 21st birthday. Steve and Brian have an incredible father/son bond and, along with other family members, have worked hard to help Brian realize his dreams of graduating from college someday and regaining his ability to walk.
On July 1st, 2008, twelve days before his 21st birthday, Brian Keefer (an all-around college athlete, volleyball player & coach, record-holding track & field athlete, and president of his college's gymnastics club) suffered a drastic gymnastics injury that paralyzed him from the neck down. Brian was a sophomore at Lock Haven University heading into his junior year. With this injury, Brian needed 24-hour care and his father, Steve, didn't hesitate. After working 30+ years at a distribution post for the military, he gave up his job and regular life to move onto the college campus with Brian as his primary care aide. With his Dad's help, Brian is (with obvious qualifications) in many ways thriving: he even won Homecoming King at his college.
At his family home, Brian is confined to only a few downstairs rooms of the house. With all his equipment, his makeshift room is very small and cluttered. Brian often feels like a prisoner. What's more, the best therapy for Brian is aqua-therapy, and although the home has an outdoor pool that Steve built for his sons when they were younger, it isn't to Brian in his wheelchair.
As a young newly married couple, C.J. and Lindsay McPhail decided they wanted to spend their lives helping others. They started the Southern Oregon Chapter of Sparrow Clubs, a non-profit organization which helps children with medical issues (a.k.a. "Sparrows") by pairing them with a school that adopts them as their school's Sparrow. C.J. found himself speaking to students, businesses and anyone who would listen about the incredible power Sparrow Clubs give to both students and Sparrows. His abilities as a public speaker motivated thousands of students to raise funds, perform service work, and create programs all in the name of their Sparrow. Not only were C.J. and Linsday a part of raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for kids with medical needs, they were also able to help transform schools by challenging students to look beyond themselves and serve.
C.J. and Lindsay never imagined, though, they would one day need help from the very organization they'd devoted so much of their time to. Soon after moving to Portland and running a chapter there, their oldest son, Sawyer, was diagnosed with a form of Autism and their second oldest son, Thatcher, began to show signs of Autism as well. With their children regressing, the family moved back to Medford to live on a 50-acre family property next to Lindsay's parents. The boys showed great progress, but Sawyer still faced several challenges due to his lack of social cues. Much to the family's surprise, Sawyer became a Sparrow, and through his endearing personality, he helped put a face on Autism and brought awareness to over 900 students in his adopted school. While their home property and the outdoors are great for the children's progress, the house is not built for their needs. The electrical system is from 1958, and recently an outlet actually sparked and shot small flames! Rewiring would be difficult, since the home is made of cinderblock. The windows are all original and a safety hazard because they're huge and not made of tempered glass. The plumbing is poor and leaks, creating mold in the bathrooms. Lastly, there is no heat in the back of the house. Only the kitchen, living room and front bedroom have ventilation, so the family is forced to rely on space heaters in the winter, which is extremely costly and not eco-friendly. Moving away from this house is financially impossible, and nothing they want to do anyway since the property is crucial to the boys' progress.
Staff Sergeant Allen Hill was almost killed by a massive roadside bomb while serving in Iraq. He has recovered from the physical wounds, but the injuries that we can't see still haunt him. Environmental triggers such as loud noises, dimly lit spaces and long hallways can bring on episodes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), some of which are dangerous, as they can send Sergeant Hill running for cover. One of his family's greatest fears is that he will run out into the street during an episode and be killed. Sergeant Hill has just completed years-long inpatient PTSD treatment and is ready to come home. Unfortunately, environmental triggers still surround his former home: The house is near both a rock quarry, where there are frequent dynamite blasts, and a train yard that is a perpetual source of terrifying noises and vibrations. For Sergeant Hill to be reunited with his family, he needs a new home - one built in a suitable location.
Glenn Close nominated the Hill Family for the show. She founded a not-for-profit organization in 2009, Bring Change 2 Mind, to combat the stigma that surrounds mental illness, having witnessed the stigma that her sister Jessie and nephew Calen experienced in their own journeys through mental illness. Bring Change 2 Mind educates and raises awareness about mental illness, including PTSD. Ms. Close has also been heavily involved in the Puppies Behind Bars program which employs prisoners to train service dogs for wounded vets. Sergeant Hill's new service dog from Puppies Behind Bars, Frankie, has helped him make significant strides toward wellness and is his lifeline.
Ty and singer/songwriter Jewel will take viewers on an inspiring journey back to some of the most heartwarming military stories featured throughout the series. The "EM:HE" crew will also pay a visit to select heroic families to find out what they've been up to since the makeover and how they are paying it forward by helping their fellow veterans. Throughout the episode, celebrities will highlight issues facing our military. The special will enable the television audience to give back and donate to the military families who give so much - a chance to rise up and honor those who have personally sacrificed so much to ensure our freedom.
The Entertainment Industry Foundation, as a leading charitable organization of the entertainment industry, has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to support charitable initiatives addressing critical health, education and social issues. The beneficiaries of this show will include United Services Organizations (USO), Hire Heroes USA, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Volunteers of America, Fisher House and Welcome Back Veterans.
Dale Dunning founded "Jusst Sooup" while she was in Bible College, starting off with a crock-pot and a hot plate to make soup for her classmates after theology class. Today Dale, along with husband Ken and son Brooks, wakes up at 2:00 a.m. every day to provide meals at 17 soup kitchens for those in need across the state of Delaware.
The Dunnings have been living in a rental home that is basically a converted storage facility for "Jusst Sooup." But they store massive amounts of food, and their small home can't contain it all. Their dream is to create the "Jusst Sooup Ranch," which would be a house the Dunnings could move into and where they could run a large-scale kitchen to feed needy families across the state. It would also be a place that provides shelter, food and support for families in need, helping them get back on their feet and enabling them to then invite other families to take their place in micro-homes on the property. Dale envisions "Jusst Sooup Ranch" having a garden, crops and a small farm to provide food.
On April 6, 2009, 11-year-old Carl Walker took his own life, forever changing the Walker family. For almost a year Carl had told his mother, Sirdeaner Walker, about the many incidents of kids bullying him at school. The family still hasn't been able to return to normal after Carl's death, but they have focused their energies on helping others. They has turned this tragic event into something positive by lobbying for new state and federal laws against bullying.
The Walker house was a living memory of the most horrific night in any family's life. The 3rd floor was where Carl Walker took his own life. As a result, the family could not bear the sadness of being on that floor. The "EM: HE" team had just seven days to build a brand new home for the Walker family, a new facility that would meet their current needs and also honor Carl in a positive way.
The Walker family was whisked away on a dream vacation to Hollywood, where they were greeted by Kim and Kourtney Kardashian and Khloé Kardashian Odom. The Kardashian sisters hosted an Anti Bullying Rally in support of the Walker family and enlisted the help of their friend, Demi Lovato, who performed for the crowd. The event was sponsored by Sears. Back in Massachusetts, teen sensation Cody Simpson performed, and enlisted hundreds of teens to join him in a Stand Together March to stop bullying.
A 16-year-old who inspires all who know him, Wyzhir Johnson-Goslee is smart and charismatic, and dreams of becoming an interior designer and construction worker because he has a knack for design and loves working with his hands. In fact, Wyzhir dreams of fixing up not only his own home, but also has a to-do list of improvement projects he undertakes throughout his community. Tragically, on Christmas Eve 2010, he suffered an accident that changed his life forever. After months of working diligently with his grandfather on improving areas of their family's aging home, which is in a constant state of disrepair, the teenager's coat sleeve was caught in the miter saw - severing his left hand. After more than 10 surgeries, doctors were unable to preserve his hand -- but typical of Wyzhir, the loss didn't diminish his positive outlook. He wanted to return to school right away and was determined to resume his daily life. His indomitable attitude - along with the loving support of his mother, Patrice, sister Renee and aunt Sonora - helped Wyzhir meet this new challenge head-on, without an ounce of self pity or defeat.
Wyzhir is a firm believer in the importance of giving back to his community and serves as a mentor through a program run by his high school. He is also passionate about the history of his town, and raising money for a local organization that is preserving an African-American school that was built in the 1800s. Simply put, Wyzhir has a heart for others and refuses to be pitied for what happened to him. He has every intention of making the most of the life he's been given.
The house that Wyzhir has dedicated himself to renovating has been in their family for over 80 years and is in terrible shape. It's not on an "in ground" foundation, but rather sits directly on the ground, which means that as the earth settles, the house follows suit. The ceilings are less than six feet high and none of the walls are level, so the home slopes in tiers. And due to insurmountable plumbing issues, there is no working shower or bathtub. So although he was doing his best to make this house a home, Wyzhir's efforts were (and still are) being expended on a structure that's falling down around him.
The Rhodes family is tight-knit, hardworking, loving and joyous, and have lived in their neighborhood for more than five generations. The Rhodes have always put family first. So when Grandpa James and Grandma Jackie's (also known as the neighborhood's beloved "Big Momma") adult daughter, Makia, was diagnosed with a potentially deadly brain tumor, leaving her unable to work and in need of daily care, they did not hesitate to take Makia and her kids into their 941-square foot home.
Now there are seven people living in this small dilapidated home, and although Makia has made progress, she's still experiencing mental delays and difficulties - so she relies on her parents' support every day. Despite the very cramped quarters and difficult conditions, the Rhodes still manage to exude joy, laughter and love in an inspiring example of family devotion and sacrifice.
Part 1 of 2. A legally blind widow raising six children in an Iowa farmhouse is helped.
In the series finale, seven homes are built in Joplin, Mo., for families who suffered great losses during the 2011 tornado.
A nine-year veteran of the police force and foster mother to over 30 children, Devonda Friday and husband James didn't think twice when they got a call to provide temporary care to a boy being transferred to a group home. They had no idea this call would change their lives. The teenage boy showed them a video of his siblings, begging them to help keep the five of them together. Before they knew it, Devonda and James were making room for all the youngsters to join their own two children.
In her career as a police officer, Devonda had repeatedly seen kids mistreated. She had her "aha" moment when, on a call, she saw a little girl bleeding from her cheek, and knew she had to do something to help the children of her community. She immediately called her husband, and they decided to become foster parents to give kids like that little girl a fighting chance at a better life in a loving home. But in 2005 Devonda was viciously attacked; it took her a year to heal physically. However other doors also opened for her: She switched careers, got a degree and, over the years, along with James, fostered dozens of children, raised their own biological child and adopted another youngster. In May 2010, they met Chris, the oldest of five siblings separated in the foster care system. The first night they met, Chris showed the Fridays a video that social services had created of the younger siblings to encourage their placement. This was a life-changing moment for the Fridays, and they began their journey to adopt all five children. Initially their request was turned down because their modest ranch home didn't have enough room, so the Fridays converted their carport into two makeshift bedrooms and sold their van to offset expenses. The adoption was finalized in 2011. Now "EMHE" will celebrate the spirit of Christmas by giving the Friday family a new spacious home for the holidays
Daniel and Mandy Watson are not only the proud adoptive parents of three adorable, fun-loving kids with boundless energy, they're also inspiring examples of how people can make a difference in the lives of so many others. Having both been raised by single mothers, the Watsons work tirelessly to transform the lives of low-income, single mother families through housing and by providing the tools to succeed in life... all while their own home falls apart around them. Four years ago, they left their jobs and created the Restoration House, a non-profit organization that provides single mothers with housing at a local apartment complex, as well as the tools needed (mentoring, advocacy) to be confident, self-sufficient and productive members of their community. This passionate young couple fight hard for their dream of 'restoring' the lives of single mothers and their children in Knoxville, Tennessee, where over 5,000 single-mother families live below the poverty line. Their mantra, "It Takes a Village," has helped many single mothers and their children transition to successful lives, both financially and personally. But their own home is in such bad shape that it threatens to take them away from their non-profit and imperils their dreams of expanding the program to help even more single moms.
The Watsons decided to forgo having biological children and adopted Atley (6) and Ava (5) as newborns from single mothers in the Knoxville area, as well as baby Silas (1) from Ethiopia. Both Ava and Silas were at-risk adoptions, as Ava tested cocaine positive when she was born, and Silas was found abandoned in the bushes at two days old, suffering from neonatal tetanus and on the verge of death. Now all three children are healthy and playful, brimming with joy and mischief. Daniel works tirelessly at the Restoration House as Executive Director, but also works a second job at night as a web developer to pay the bills. Even though Mandy is now staying at home to take care of Silas, she spends countless hours helping the mothers in the program.
The design team has just seven days to build a new Restoration House that's larger, with additional living quarters where they can house two single mother families at a time while those families go through the Restoration House program. The episode features a visit to the "Wipeout" set and an appearance by UFC Champion fighter Jon "Bones" Jones. The Watson family has been whisked away on a dream vacation to Sarasota, Florida while special guest team leader Jenny McCarthy and the "EM: HE" team of designers -- Paul DiMeo, Tracy Hutson, John Littlefield and Jillian Harris -- along with Grace Construction and community volunteers, build the structure.
The team helps build a home for a veteran who helps wounded warriors find jobs and support when they return to civilian life.
The team helps build a home for a family that's house and farm burned in a wild fire; fire department renovation.