Paul DiMeo

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An Extreme Ending for a Television Icon

Extreme Makeover Home Edition

For 199 episodes, Ty Pennington and his design team have led a television phenomenon that has helped deserving families in all 50 states. This Friday, January 13, at 8/7c, the 200th episode and series finale of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition airs on ABC.  To all who have ever cried or laughed watching an episode of this series over the last nine years, I hope you will set aside the two hours to watch what I believe is the most impressive feat of non-fiction television in a long while.  From my experience, no factual television series has attempted to accomplish so much, by so many, for such a good cause, in one single episode. 

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Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's Paul on Barbara Marshall, the Steps and Stages Jubilee House

Michelle Obama, Ty Pennington

This week's story takes us to Fayetteville, N.C. where we met up with a woman by the name of Barbara Marshall. Barbara Marshall is a veteran of the Navy and she has seen a problem develop over the years with our women veterans coming back from deployment and then finding themselves homeless, without jobs and in really tough situations. Barbara has decided to take it upon herself to help these women and their children by bringing them into the Steps and Stages Jubilee House and give them a chance to get back on their feet.

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Paul DiMeo Discusses the Marshall-Spreier Family

This week we are in Pocatello, Idaho helping the Marshall-Spreier family and what a great family they are! There's Jane, the mom, and then there are eight kids. Jane suffered from cancer and on top of that, an electrical fire took away their home. For the past 18 months they've been living in a little trailer and a tent in their backyard. This family has lost everything and yet life is still pretty sunny for these folks. The entire family is very competent in their musical abilities and I think what holds this family together is that they have their music to go to. You shut your eyes and you play music and you're everywhere.

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Extreme Makeover's Paul DiMeo Talks Carousels and a Home Edition First

This week, Extreme travels to Lancaster, Texas, to meet Carlton Marshall and family, which includes his wife and fellow police officer Susan, daughter Jessica and young son Joseph. Carlton was a police officer who tragically lost most of his mobility and all of his hearing after being shot in the neck while serving a search warrant leading a Dallas Police Department SWAT team. But despite their myriad of difficulties and a home not suited for Carlton's needs, his and Susan's big hearts remain open to others as supporters of the ...
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Paul DiMeo, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: The Jordans

We are in Montgomery Alabama and this week is about the Jordan family and their service to a community. When it comes mom Monica, her service comes from a very tough place. She¹s lost two children, one child to drunk driving and another to domestic violence. She has taken that grief and all that goes along with that, losing not one child but two, and has turned that into a very positive thing for the city of Montgomery Alabama. She is an advocate, teaching people ... read more

November 12, 2006 Episode: The Farina Family

This week the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition bus rolls into St. Meinrad, Indiana. Located in the southern tip of Indiana, St. Meinrad is home to one of only two Benedictine Monasteries in the country. I feel like a broken record when I write these each week, but I have to say that once again I've been overwhelmed by the support from the community. Not only did the locals come out in droves to support the Extreme team, but they also came to support something greater than this show, The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.Shawna Farina, mother of three and a survivor, shows just how strong and resilient the human spirit can be. As a child, Shawna watched her mother struggle with beat breast cancer, and now for the past year Shawna's three children (Lacey, Brian, and Summer) have had to watch her go through the same ordeal. Through it all, she has managed to work, raise money and organize the local Relay for Life walks. Now a survivor, Shawna, Steve, Lacey, Brian and Summer, strug... read more

October 29, 2006 Episode: The Kibe Family

Smack in the center of farm country is where the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition bus stops this week. Beautiful fields of corn arranged in perfect rows stretch as far as the eye can see. We are in Gladbrook, Iowa, and we are here to join the community to help a local family rebuild their home and farm. The Kibe family: Shawn and Amy, Kody (13), Blake (10) and Christian (6). Theirs is the story of a young family who leave big-city life and move to the country to introduce their children to the wholesome, hardworking and rewarding life of running a farm. These kids have thrived, learning the lessons of hard work and reaping the rewards of working together. The boys' grades began to improve and they began to spend a whole lot of quality time together tending to the livestock and scraping by running a working farm. A few days before Christmas '05, the family was out picking up Mom from her job at a local department store when they received a frantic call from a neighbor: Their house was ... read more

October 15, 2006 Episode: The Blivens

This week I found myself just 30 miles away from the Canadian border in beautiful Minot, N.D. I love small towns and great communities with people who all know one another and will do anything to help a neighbor in need. That was truly the story with this wonderful family, the Blivens. The Blivens are as loving, sharing and close a group as I've ever had the pleasure of meeting: Bill, Michelle, Kristen, Aaron, and Taylor. Aaron was born with a disease called Cerebral Palsy and this family has worked so hard to make Aaron's life as ordinary as any other 14-year-old's. Michelle even managed to start and run a great organization called Dream Catchers. Imagine that. This woman, who has to care for, feed, bathe and raise this remarkable young man, managed to find time to start a program for other children with similar limitations to be able to enjoy our national pastime — baseball! Let me explain Dream Catchers. They are a baseball league specifically for kids with disabilities who... read more

October 8, 2006, Episode

This week the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition [Sundays at 8 pm/ET on ABC] bus takes us to one of my favorite parts of the country, a place where country music is a way of life: Hendersonville, Tennessee. We experienced a quintessential Southern community when we visited this town just 20 miles outside of Nashville, with its famous landmarks the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Theater and the Country Music Hall of Fame. It's a community that embraced us as one of their own. The Hawkins family... what a story. A little over six months ago, an F-3 tornado (over 175 mph sustained winds!) ripped through Hendersonville and completely demolished the Hawkins family home. Jerrod, dad and a firefighter, was out on call helping his neighbors and only could watch from afar as the tornado headed right towards his home, his two boys — Jair, 6, Cole, 4 — and hid lovely wife, Amy, who were inside taking shelter in the basement. Now, Amy will tell you that what she did to protect her boys was s... read more

Season Premiere Week

Hello, Paul DiMeo here. Yeah, the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition designer with the dark glasses who cries a lot. Just call me the carpenter who cares -- in fact, I care so much about the families we help that I'm actually writing a blog!Isn't a blog some kinda online diary? Ok, here we go: Dear blog, I'm so happy today! I arrived in Alaska, which means that I've visited all 50 states! (Big smile showing teeth.)OK -- it's not about me, it's about the family. And we went to North Pole, Alaska, to be the Santa Claus to single mom Betsy and her family of 13. Yes, we met Santa Claus while we were there.Life at the top of the world hasn't been easy for Betsy. Thirteen people cohabitating in her 900-square foot home without insulation -- not a good situation when the weather can hit 60 below. And it definitely hurts brother Rob, who Betsy took in, along with his three kids, when he was diagnosed with kidney failure.This truly was an "extreme build." I thought that we'd face blizzards and ... read more

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