Tracy Hutson

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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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May 6, 2007: The Kilgallon Family

This week the team rolls into Levittown, Penn. I loved it there. Everyone was very proud of their homes and communities in Pennsylvania, and after spending some time there, it's obvious why. I could see why this family wanted to stay in that beautiful area.This week was about a single mom, Marynoel, trying to make it while raising her four boys. Marynoel took her boys from a bad situation with their father and tried to start a new life. She was able to scrape together enough to purchase what she thought was a safe home in a beautiful neighborhood filled with other families and children. Unfortunately, harsh reality set in the moment they arrived. The home was infested with termites and would cost literally tens of thousands of dollars to repair and make livable. Marynoel has a wonderful spirit but she had been knocked down so many times she was starting to give up. It broke my heart to hear her stories of how she would hide in the car and cry so that the boys couldn't see. It was a ... read more

April 22, 2007: The Westbrook Family

Go, army! This week we invaded Lawton, Oklahoma. I didn't know what to think of Lawton, but after spending a wonderful week here with the community and our troops from nearby Fort Sill, it's a place I won't soon forget. There's something very sweet about small towns, and the support we received was huge! Overwhelming even. I met so many wonderful people this week, including the members of an organization called Adopt-a-Soldier, which was started to send letters and care packages to deployed soldiers to let them know that we care. We were able to get 7,000 letters sent to soldiers deployed around the world. Our goal this week was to get the Westbrooks into a house that would work for them. James, the son, and Gene, the dad, are both in wheelchairs. Dad suffered his injury while training troops in Iraq and returned from the field a paraplegic. One day a few months ago, on the way to a church picnic, the Westbrooks were in a terrible car accident that left young James paralyzed as wel... read more

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