November 06, 2005 12:01 AM by Joe Blackmon
"Tom Family, Parts 1 & 2" — Susan Tom, a single parent of seven adopted children with disabilities from Fairfield, CA, didn’t set out to adopt children with special needs, but somehow they found each other. After her divorce, Susan, a mother of four at the time (two biological, two adopted), became a foster parent and soon fell in love with the children no one else wanted. Now "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" will give back to a woman who has given so much love to children in need by providing a new home for her family in two special back-to-back episodes, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6 (7:00-8:00 & 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Taking in children with challenges hasn’t been easy. For Xenia and Hannah, who were born without legs, and Libby, who was born with spinal bifida and confined to a wheelchair, the Tom home is a logistical nightmare. For Cloe, who was born unable to bend her elbows and knees, getting around the house and up the stairs is extremely difficult. There is also Katie, who was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and is mentally challenged, and Faith, who was badly burned as a baby and encounters stares from strangers every day of her life. Finally there’s Margaret, who was not expected to live because of brain damage; she’s now a thriving 21-year-old who works full-time and helps out her siblings, as she pursues her dream of becoming a pediatric nurse.
In these special episodes of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," this family will finally find a safe haven to call home. Discriminated against on a daily basis by ignorance and physical challenges, the Tom children deserve to have a home that doesn’t discriminate against them. Susan and the children are thinking of taking in more children with special needs, if their new house could accommodate them.
While the design team, contractors and hundreds of workers, volunteers and a local builder, the Sacramento division of John Laing Homes, are building the Tom’s dream home and comfortable living environment, the family will go on vacation at Walt Disney World.
In addition, the Backstreet Boys send a special video message to the family while on tour, and country singer Mark Wills performs for the family at Disney World during their vacation. During the construction, champion wrestler/weightlifter Kyle Maynard (author of "No Excuses"), who was born with a rare disorder called Congenital Amputation, inspects the house to make sure it’s disability friendly and gets into a wrestling match with Paul DiMeo.
The design team for this episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" will feature team leader Ty Pennington, Paul DiMeo, Preston Sharp, Constance Ramos and Tanya McQueen. The series is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. It’s executive-produced by Tom Forman.