October 02, 2011 05:59 PM by Candace Young
Tonight the Extreme Makeover Home Edition bus is heading to South Jordan, Utah to surprise the Gomez family. Young Jonah Gomez, who is a huge fan of Real Salt Lake soccer, has blood disorders and needs to find a bone marrow donor match. Keep reading for the highlights of the build…
Seven year-old Jonah Gomez, his mom Jessica, and younger sister, Ellie, currently live with the kids’ grandparents because Jessica had to give up her airline job to care for Jonah, and their medical bills are staggering. Extreme Makeover Home Edition would like to give them a home of their own.
Ty Pennington and the design team surprise the Gomez family, and Jessica goes wild. Earlier, on the bus, the team had watched a video of her explaining that if no donor is found (there are no matches in the current National database), this could be Jonah’s last year of life.
They head inside to check out their current living conditions – their rooms are under the garage. Jessica shows Ty the oxygen tank that Jonah must hook up to each night while he sleeps, and talks about the time Jonah was in the ICU.
The Gomez family gets on the Extreme Makeover Home Edition bus with Ty and the design team and head over to meet the Real Salt Lake soccer team. Ty also tells them the land their home will be built on was donated by Rio Tinto, and will be built by Holmes Homes Inc. The Real Salt Lake team captain makes Jonah the honorary captain, and the family learns they are going to Disneyland Resort in California for a vacation.
On the Real Salt Lake soccer field, Ty explains that because Jonah can’t always be outside, they will design an indoor soccer stadium for him called ‘Rio Gomez’. Xzibit works on an oxygen bar for the stadium, while Paige plans a Little Mermaid themed room for Ellie.
At the build site, the house is coming along at an amazing pace, and they are also building a rental property for Jessica to rent out next door! They are building near a huge copper mine, so will incorporate a lot of copper in the house design. Xzibit pulls up in a copper car, and he and Michael visit the mine to see how it all happens.
Inside the house, Paige explains that Jonah and Ellie’s rooms will be separated by glass – because it’s so important to the little girl to be able to check on her brother. This way they’ll still have their own spaces.
At Disneyland, Ellie has just met Ariel when Ty calls to tell them they are going to a soccer match that night. Xzibit goes to California to accompany the family. He makes an announcement with Jonah from the middle of the field. Ty comes on the big screen and asks the entire crowd to become marrow donors that night. He tells them that drives are going on a soccer matches all over the country that night!
Before long, the Gomez family is back in Utah and pulling up in the limo on the other side of the bus. The Real Salt Lake players are there and everyone chants to move the bus.
Jessica and her kids cry as they look at the stunning new white home with solar panels on the roof and a smaller white home next to it. Inside, Ty shows them the copper dining room table which is anti-microbial and great for Jonah. The representatives from Rio Tinto and Holmes Homes come in and present Jessica with the keys to the rental property. She sobs gratefully and the builders are visibly affected. They go to check out the rental house.
The next surprise is that Ty traced the family history and found that the great-grandfather had 10 children and those families are all outside. This is huge news since a relative is the best chance for a donor match for Jonah.
Back in the house, Ellie marvels over her Little Mermaid room, and Jessica gasps when she sees her restful bedroom with copper hearts on the wall and attached outdoor spa/sanctuary. Jonah absolutely loves his pirate room. Ty shows him and Ellie how they can see each other through the glass partition. Ty goes to get mom, and they show her that Jonah’s bed is a fully-contained oxygen tent!
Ty directs the kids to the crow’s nest where they go down a slide and wind up in Jonah’s indoor soccer stadium. Xzibit shows him how his virtual soccer screen works, and they go to the flavored oxygen bar after they play. Xzibit says CVS Pharmacy provided the stadium, oxygen bar, and $40,000 toward their medical bills.
Last, the Real Salt Lake players, and kids from Jonah’s own soccer team come in to see his stadium. The Real Salt Lake players give Jonah seasons tickets for life! Ty welcomes the Gomez family home.
To join the bone marrow registry, visit www.marrow.org.
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Photos: typennington.com, ABC