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Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and the Giunta Family

May 12, 2008 02:44 PM by DA Southern

giunta-family1.jpgWe opened with Ty giving rowing instructions to a rowing team as he announced that the great state of Massachusetts was to be the latest recipient of the Extreme team’s gallant efforts to help a deserving family with a new home.

Ty summoned designers Paige Hemmis, Paul DiMeo, Michael Moloney and Tanya McQueen for the big task as the team watched the application video from the Giunta Family. March 26, 2006 began as a day of joy for Paul and Renee Giunta when, at two in the morning, baby girl Brianna was born. Nine hours later tragedy struck when Paul, on his way home with their young sons, Dylan and Cameron, was involved in a serious, single-car accident.

Paul has had four major brain surgeries since the accident and can’t walk fully on his own, requiring the assistance of a wheelchair and a walker. He spent sixteen months living and doing rehab in the hospital in Boston and now, because their current home isn’t handicapped accessible, lives with his parents in a retirement development which is handicapped accessible. Besides accessibility problems, their home also has broken water pipes, bad electricity, unsafe floors and a roof that needs major repair work and Paul desperately wants to come home and be with his family.

The big bus pulled up on a snowy Massachusetts morning on Day 1 at 8:42 AM as Ty and the gang began the journey home for Paul and his family. Ty yelled at Mom and the kids to come out and Ty announced a Disney World visit would be in the cards for the family and immediately went into the home with Renee to see the conditions of the unsafe home, especially for Paul. It certainly was one of the most emotional walk-thrus we have ever seen as Renee sobbed at the prospect of Paul being back in the home with her and the kids.

Paul DiMeo was with son, Dylan, and saw his love of Dinosaurs, Paige was with younger son, Cameron, and noticed his room adorned with Penguins and Tanya and Michael were with daughter, Brianna, in a fairy-tail room. With the theme rooms set, the family was off to Disney World as Ty and the gang readied for the onslaught of the builders, Jeanson Homes and Fenton Homes, and the scores of volunteers for the week-long build.

Day 2 started at 9:02 AM with a replay of the Revolutionary War and the Massachusetts militia marching towards the build site to tear it down with the crude weapons of yesteryear. Hey, don’t kill the messenger. Oh yeah, a Ty-larious moment was upon us quickly as Ty rode on a horse like Paul Revere announcing their arrival. Hey, I laughed. Ty then manned the camera and showed the family the musket fire being heaped on the home by the Minutemen. OK, they had to be helped by a bunch of bulldozers, but it was kinda cool.

We quickly zoomed to Day 3 at 10:17 AM as Tanya walked us through the infrastructure of the new 3000 square foot home and announced that it would probably be one of the most open homes to date as Paul showed us the Tyrannosaurus Rex bed he was making for Dylan.

Hey hold on, another Ty-larious moment was occurring as Ty was giving a real bad hair style to some lady in a salon as he announced his secret project of making a hair salon for Renee in the new home.

Day 4 already was with us at 12:13 PM as I think we spent far too much time fooling around with the Minutemen in the opening scene. Tanya was again the hostess of the walk-thru as she must of not as much to do this episode and Tanya was messing around with sugar cubes for something in Cameron’s room. Michael hosted a Bar-B-Que for the people who nominated the family, some 2000 of the townsfolks, as we saw him for the first time this episode and, of course, he manned the video for the family on vacation.

Day 5 started for us late at 4:20 PM as our guide, Tanya, announced that the house details were almost done and the home was completely wheelchair accessible. Paige’s Penguin room and Paul’s Dinosaur room were on track while Michael was off to Sears to stock the Master Bedroom for Renee and Paul and we had yet another Ty-larious moment as Ty ushered out a bunch of women,and Michael,with bad hair styles from the secret project room and told them “That’s what happens when you try to see inside the secret project room.” I’m dying here with so much comedy.

Michael announced that he had the keys which meant we were into Day 6 and the furniture was about to be moved in and close to having the family home.

The throngs of people greeted the family as the limo pulled into view. Ty quickly yelled “Bus driver, move that bus” and you could see that Paul was visibly shaken as he and the family saw the new home as the crowd yelled “Bring Paul home” in the background.

Ty sent the family into the rest of the home and Cameron was first into his Penguin room and son, Dylan, was amazed at this Dinosaur room and especially his Tyrannosaurus Rex bed. The little girl was next into her Fairy Tail room and Paul and Renee saw Paul’s rehab room for the first time. Paul and Renee were finally reunited together into their Master Bedroom for the first time in two years and it was really a very tastefully room done by Michael.

Ty showed Renee her new salon with all of the amenities for success and Ty took the family to meet the designers for the final time as we heard the final retort by Ty, “Welcome home, Giunta family, welcome home.”

The credits rolled and we saw a glimpse of the 2 hour season finale that will air next week from New Orleans and certainly a fitting end to our 50 State journey across America.

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Photo Courtesy of ABC

Topics: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition |

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