Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's Michael Moloney on The Gomez Family
This week we came together in South Jordan, Utah to help the Gomez family, a single mother Jessica and her children, Jonah and Ellie. Jonah is fighting two blood diseases, one of them being sickle cell, and for a seven-year-old boy it's really taxing and it wears him down. He has to have oxygen all the time and he can't keep up with his friends. So, it's important that he has a home where the air is clean, and that he has access to oxygen whenever he needs it. One day he will need a bone marrow transplant and it's really important that we find the match as soon as possible because you don't know when that day's going to come. Something could hit him at any time, and then he'd know that that donor's there, because that is the only cure.
I think what we are able to do is miraculous. We have the ability to bring lots and lots of people who don't know each other together for someone that they don't know and this week it's really each person's time to shine at what they do. Really helping us pull this project together is our friends from Holmes Homes and the Daybreak community. They've been amazing and we can't thank them enough.
It's obviously our goal to build the Gomez family a safe healthy home, but I think it's also really important that we get the word out about not only Jonah's need for a bone marrow transplant, but the thousands of people who are on that list right now in need of a transplant. So we're teaming up with DKMS, the world's largest bone marrow donor center to create a nationwide bone marrow transplant drive. We're going to get the word out about finding a match for Jonah and all of the other people in need of one.
Jonah lives and breathes soccer. His mother, Jessica, even said if it wasn't for Jonah's favorite team, Real Salt Lake, Jonah might not be alive because they give him such strength and purpose. So this week Major League Soccer and Salt Lake Real joined in the search for a donor match. A bone marrow drive was held at the Real Stadium and it was awesome. It was good before the game, but when we made the announcement at half time, after the game they ran out of swabs, which they apparently have never done before. Not only was the drive going on in Salt Lake, there was one in Los Angeles and in cities across the country. Thousands of people heard Jonah's story and had the opportunity to be swabbed and make a difference.
I think the future for Jonah is nothing but bright. I think he'll be around for a very long time. He's got the love, the support, the doctors, and now he's got all these people on his team seeing if they can be a match for him. I mean, let's face it, at the end of the day the goal is to find a match for Jonah. The cool thing is that along the way we've got all of these other people who have been swabbed and who knows how many lives we've saved. Every week we get to build a home for a deserving family, and that in and of it is amazing. But when we have the opportunity to save a life, it's beyond huge. And our goal this week is to save Jonah's life by finding a match for him, and if it's not Jonah it'll be someone else.
We've helped families through the years that have had really difficult situations with their kids, and you see this strength in their parents. When I see Jessica, she gives me strength. She's such a powerful strong woman because of what she has to go through. She's got to put on that face and fight for Jonah every day. She's awesome and I wish her, Jonah and Ellie nothing but the best. I'm just so glad that we could give them a home to fight this fight, to be together as a family and start fresh.