Ty Pennington and his team from Extreme Makeover Home Edition have become known for swooping in and helping families with housing needs. On Friday, October 21st, ABC will air a special two hour episode where Ty and the gang swoops in to help the Keefer family. The Keefers happen to be a United Methodist family, which is why they popped up on my blogging radar. The good people at EMHE gave me the opportunity to preview the episode for blogging purposes.
Brian Keefer grew up as an athlete participating in baseball, volleyball, track, and gymnastics. Just before his twenty-first birthday, he attempted a triple flip and broke his neck, becoming paralyzed from the chest down. His father retired early in order to give Brian the full time care he needs.
Brian’s home was not wheelchair accessible. He could not use the front door. He had an upstairs bedroom. The ceilings were too low for the equipment Brian needed. His church family rallied to help, sponsoring several benefits for Brian and knocked out a wall in his house to help Brian get around. The community response was great, but they needed some special expertise to make Brian’s home ready for him. That’s where Ty and the gang came to the rescue.
The Extreme Makeover team wanted Brian to have some independence and this led them to create the most technological makeover that I have seen to date. They add on a suite for Brian that is completely voice activated, and they even create new technology to help him accomplish regular tasks. How does a person who cannot move his hands or feet get a glass of water by himself? Ty figures out a way.
Not only did the team want to give Brian his independence, but they also wanted to help his recovery. There is a chance that Brian will walk again. The show goes to great lengths to give Brian the hope and the tools that he needs to make a recovery. Brian did not have access to the right kind of therapy in his area, so EMHE brought it to him! Usually, the climax of the episode comes when Ty yells, “Bus Driver, Move that bus!” For me, the moment of hope in this episode came with a different command: “Lift that screen!” If you are watching on Friday night, you will be rooting for that home theater screen to go up, too!
The Keefer Family episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition airs
Friday, October 21, at 8:00 PM (Eastern time) on ABC
This episode is about a family receiving a blessing, but if you watch it, you just might receive a blessing in return. Brian’s attitude is inspirational. He does not let his injury define him. He says, “Why let something like this stop me? I’m still me. I’m still Brian. I’m just sitting down.” The injury may have changed his situation, but it has not changed who he is. His father’s devotion is also an example of the love between father and son.
After watching season after season, it is apparent that the success stories are due to the communities coming together to make these good things happen. Donations of money, time, and talents from the community are the secret ingredients that make EMHE so special. Brian’s community is very important to the success of this episode, and you can feel how the community rallied together.
Of course, EMHE had many other big surprises for Brian along the way. It is feel good, family friendly television. I am very happy for the Keefer family. Thank you, EMHE! I know you can’t help everyone, but I am glad that you are helping communities rally together to help those you can!
Welcome home, Keefer family!