"Exteme Makeover: Home Edition" to Feature Family With Autistic Children, 10/28
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" travels to Medford, Oregon to surprise the McPhail family with the door knock that can change lives, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28 (8:00-9:00 & 9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
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.
The "EM:HE" design team has just seven days to build a brand new home for the McPhail family, who have been whisked away on a dream vacation to the new Aulani Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii, while "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" team leader Ty Pennington, designers Paul DiMeo, Paige Hemmis, Ed Sanders and new designer comedian Jeff Dye, along with local builders Ark Built Renovations and community volunteers, build the structure.
Dr. Temple Grandin, acclaimed author, professor and livestock handling facility designer, is one of the most visible spokespeople for people with Autism, and her life story was made into an HBO movie. She works with the design team to help build a home for the McPhails. In addition, a volunteer from the international organization Autism Speaks, a great resource for the McPhails when their children were diagnosed, will help the family light the town blue to enhance Autism Awareness.