ABC’s ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ is a reality television show that chronicles the renovation journey of several families. As Ty Pennington and a team of eclectic designers head to different families across the country, they try to help recreate and renovate homes for families who have experienced the worst personally and professionally. Years since season 4 came on air, fans have continued to wonder more about the families.
The Rogers Family Are Now On A Different Path
A family of thirteen, the Rogers were making do in a two-bedroom home. Betsy Rogers, a single mother, was barely making ends meet when the hosts of the ABC show came to her house. The team effectively replaced her 900sq ft house that had begun decaying. They received a new six-bedroom, four-bath house on Anton Avenue that even had a contribution made by nearly two dozen Airmen from Elmendorf Air Force Base and three soldiers from Fort Richardson. Alas, nearly six years later, the family’s house went on the market to be sold at $360,000. While the family has not been open about their life since the show, we still hope that they’ve managed to embark on new professional and personal strides as a family.
The Hawkins Family is Undeterred by Challenges
Amy’s life was turned upside down when a tornado hit her house in Tennessee. In a feat to save her children from the calamity, she plunged herself into danger, which later paralyzed her. With the help of the design team, Amy managed to receive a home that wasn’t just accessible but also renovated. Since the show, the Hawkins have continued to make progress as a unit. Jerrod, Cole, Jair, and Amy are still a tight-knit unit and continue to face life’s new challenges. Cole went on to study in Vol State on scholarship and even had plans to enlist in the Air Force and be a pilot. Cole was inspired by his mother’s sacrifice and has since enrolled in the Emergency Medical Technician Basic program at Volunteer State Community College. He has wanted to be a volunteer firefighter for years, like his father, Jerrod, who is also an EMT with the Brentwood Fire Department.
The Gilliam Family’s House Has Incurred Tax Reassessment
Having lost their patriarch, David Gilliam, to the throes of mold infestation, Maryann and her six children were left all alone. From losing their family on Christmas to finding their house to be infested with life-threatening conditions, the ‘Extreme Makeover’ team ultimately came to their rescue. In the end, the family got a house that was exempt from the danger that took a member of their family. A year later, the family’s house was re-assessed for taxes. Since then, Maryann and her children – Naomi, Peter, Ariel, Gabriel, Abigale, and Daniel have been creating new milestones as a unit.
The Bliven Family is Now Growing Dream Catchers
Michelle Bliven wore many hats. From working as a mother, a teacher, and a baseball coach to finding new ways to help accommodate her child’s cerebral palsy, she had been making several milestones. However, making her home accessible for Aaron was pertinent. Since getting their dream house, Michelle, Kristen, Taylor, and Aaron have made significant strides in life. Having kickstarted Dream Catchers, a baseball league that helps children with disabilities play baseball, the team has now made extensive progress and inspired countless with its message. In their most recent feat, Dream Catchers Baseball has recently completed 20 years since its inception. Over the two decades since it has existed, the organization has brought together countless families who continue to vociferously support and participate in the latest sports matches.
The Thibodeau Family Has Overcome Medical Battles
Born with a congenital heart disease, Siehera had undergone four open-heart surgeries in nearly 12 years of her life. Her home was ultimately rebuilt in Toronto and even received a new gourmet kitchen. After the show, Siehera’s mom and brother, Kyle, continued living in the house. Siehera has since gone on to make new milestones, too. Once a student of criminal justice and human development and family studies, she is now making new milestones in her life. Even though the television personality still needs a few heart surgeries to heal completely, she’s continued to make countless milestones as an adult. Once active on social media, Siehera now likes to keep things under wraps.
The Kibe Family is Enjoying Life in Iowa
Dealt with the unexpected, the Kibes’ house was turned to rubble after an unforeseen fire left nothing behind days before Christmas in 2005. For several months, the family had to make do in humble surroundings. The Kibes lived in a one-room camper and tents for months before their wishes were answered by the ABC Team. Ultimately, Ty Pennington and other members of the ‘Extreme Makeover’ team helped the family kickstart their dreams once again. After getting the house of their dreams in Gladbrook, Iowa, the family has remained decidedly quiet about their lives. While there have been few updates from the Kibes, we continue to wish that they’ve mapped the road to progress and happiness.
The Farina Family Has Since Lost a Beloved Member
Hauling from St. Meinard, Indiana, the Farinas were a family of four. Steve and his children, Larch, Moss, and Brian, had received help from the ABC team and regained hope in their dilapidated home. Not only did Ty, John, Paul, Eduardo, and Tanya help renew the family’s 135-year-old farmhouse, but they also gave the matriarch of the family yet another boost to recover from breast cancer. Alas, in
The Koepke Family Has Remained Out of the Spotlight
From a leaking roof to cohabiting with bats in the attic, the Koepke family in Wisconsin was dealing with their fair share of issues. Ultimately, they received help from the ‘Extreme Makeover’ team and gained a unique two-story home rid of all the issues that prevailed earlier. Since then, Christine Koepke and her four children have found a new lease on life. From overcoming the grief of losing the patriarch to making new milestones together, the Kopekes are still a tight-knit unit. While the family rarely opens up about their professional and personal life, we hope that they’ve continued to find the same success outside.
The Ripatti-Pearce Family is Now Embracing New Opportunities
Kristina Ripatti’s life was turned upside down when she was shot in the line of duty while chasing a robbery suspect. The former athlete and collegiate soccer player has since found an accessible house and has embarked on several new adventures. In 2008, Kristina and her husband welcomed their second-born, Lucas. Along with Jordan, her eldest, the family has continued to make new strides. Kristina has since revived her spirit for more and has even completed a master’s program at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. She ended up receiving aid from Swim With Mike, a financial and emotional support organization that helps physically challenged athletes gain higher education. She is currently working as a Counselor at The Relational Center in Los Angeles.
The Fullerton-Machacek Family Has Now Sold their Home
Labeled the modern-day form of ‘The Brady Brunch,’ the two families were united in a unique way by the ABC team. Together, Kenneth Machacek and Teresa Fullerton had five children: Erica, Chelsey, Justin, Tucker, and Brianna. In addition to getting a new house, the family was also provided with financial assistance for college. Nelnet also gave the children a series of books to prepare for college exams and other tests. However, the family’s home was eventually sold in 2016. In an interview with The Spectrum, Don Wesely sat down to uncover a thousand intricacies that the ‘Extreme Makeover’ team included in the house.
The Thomas Family Is Still Involved in the Public Realm
Having put his life on the line to save the lives of two officers on 9/11, Jason Thomas, his wife, their four children, his wife’s aunt, and her daughter received the surprise of their life when their house in Ohio was selected for a renovation project. Since the show, Jason has been working as a public speaker. His courage and altruism have even been zeroed in on Channel 4’s ‘The Lost Hero of 9/11’ and his involvement in the rescue operation. He has even worked as an officer for the Ohio Supreme Court and has worked as a public speaker. Jason and his wife, Kristi, later opened their homes for $10 tours. However, the family has remained quiet about their family updates since long.
The Riggins Family is Still Making Progress As A Unit
Despite facing hurdles, William and Linda were never deterred by circumstances. Along with their three children, the family didn’t just receive a better house but also managed to gain $10,000 in gift cards from Papa John’s pizzas. After the show, their historic Mordecai Village house was transformed into a mortgage-free home. Since then, Linda has become a published author and released a collection of poetry that celebrates Black women. It is entitled, ‘WORDS: Beholding Black Women.’ The cover for the book has been designed by her brother.
The O’Donnell Family is Still On the Path of Growth
Patrick and Jeanette were raising their six children in Austin. However, with five of their six kids on the autism spectrum, the parents had to deal with several things to ensure proper therapy for their kids and a remarkable life. In the end, the ABC team helped the O’Donnells find the thing they needed the most. Since the show, Jeanette has been vociferous about her upbringing and how she handles the several challenges that have come the family’s way. In an interview with Left Brain Right Brain, she confessed, “The truth is: They’re gonna teach the world a lot.”
The Tate Family Has Since Downsized
Once a marine who served in Iraq, Ryan and his family’s house was left dilapidated after a plane crashed into their home in the Davis Islands. Tom and Cynthia were great members of the community, and the patriarch was the proprietor of a pizza place. Later, the family received a complete do-over of their house and managed to overcome their plight. However, seven years later, the family decided to put their house up for sale. With their children all grown, Tom and Cynthia felt that it was time for them to downsize and look elsewhere.
The Tipton-Smith Family is A Tight-Knit Unit Even Today
Faith and her daughters, Missy and Emily, didn’t just lose their family home to a fire but also ended up losing several memories made within it. Not three months later, Faith’s third child, Ransom, once a budding architect, was also killed in an auto accident.
Plagued by grief, the women were offered respite when Ty Pennington and other designers came to their house. Since the show, the Georgia-based family has found new avenues of success and happiness. Faith is now a grandmother and enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. Both Missy and Emily are happy with their careers and personal life, too.
The Wilson Family Has Been Exploring New Paths
From living in a ramshackle trailer that was held together by duct tape, the Wilson family’s three generations received the surprise of their lifetime when their house was picked for a makeover. With no mortgage to depict issues in the long run, Renee Wilson walked away with the home of her dreams. Besides getting a unique property, the family was set up with an account with $60,000 as a trust, which could be used solely to pay for utilities, taxes, and insurance bills. Not just this, the team helped fundraise enough money for the family so that Renee could cover these basic expenses until all of her grandchildren had graduated from high school. Since the show, the family members have continued to make milestones on their own terms.
Rashaad Juwan “RJ,” who had been six at the time the show aired, has since made new milestones. At the time, Horry-Georgetown Technical College had pledged full-tuition scholarships to the grandchildren who could attend college 12 years later. RJ has since taken up the university on the offer and has been studying Culinary Arts at the HGTC International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach. Like RJ, his siblings and other generations of his household have also made progress as individuals. Erica, the youngest of the family, has since become a YouTube creator. Naturally, we continue to wish the family the best!
The Jones Family Has Lost a Beloved Member
A single mother with a heart of gold, Sabrena Jones was chosen to receive a complete home makeover. As a nurse and medical worker, the television personality had to deal with long hours. Fortunately, the family received the house of their dreams with the help of the ABC team. However, the family faced a major tragedy soon after. In 2009, the matriarch of the Jones household succumbed to surgery complications. The widely loved member of the community has received love even after her passing. Her funeral was even attended by Congressman Gregg Harper. She has left behind a house no longer tainted by the memories of Hurricane Katrina. Besides this, her three children also reminisce about their mother’s memories.
The Westbrook Family is Trying to Secure Their Home Once Again
Gene Westbrook’s life was turned upside down when he was attacked in the line of duty. The war veteran was serving in Iraq when a bomb went off near his tent in 2004. He later became disabled. Just two years later, his family was also injured in a car accident, and Gene suffered broken legs, a stroke, and even a bloody mouth. Only the matriarch, Peggy, and fifteen-year-old Elizabeth managed to come out of the tragedy safely, without needing a wheelchair or surgery. Later, the family suffered yet another tragedy in 2009 when Peggy died. After her passing, Gene and his children couldn’t cover the house’s mortgage for long, and it was eventually sold. Gene later moved to a veterinary center, and his children began living with their relatives. In 2015, Gene’s son-in-law, William Crutchfield, started a GoFundMe campaign to help his father-in-law purchase the house once again.
The Collins Family Has Found New Avenues of Success
Based in Arkansas, Dennis and Kim were raising their son Mitchell, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was just 3. The family had expanded when Mitchell’s five cousins came to cohabit with their relatives. After the passing of their parents in a car accident, Dennis and Kim continued to provide the best for their nieces and nephews. After the show, the family received several surprises in addition to their new home. Officials from the University of Central Arkansas presented each of the six children with college scholarships. Two other colleges also went on to offer similar college opportunities for the children, as well as for Dennis, Kim, and their adult son, Zach.
The Kilgallon Family is No Longer in Their Renovated House
Mary Noel Kilgallon was singlehandedly raising her four children and battling financial issues when the ‘Extreme Makeover’ team decided to step in and help the members find respite. Within seven days, the family managed to get a home thrice its original size. Once infested with termites, Mary and her children managed to receive the house of their dreams. However, not four years later, the family decided to put up their residence for sale. However, the family has remained secrecy on why they put up their house for sale.
The Noyola Family Has Now Left Their North Lawndale Home
Gene, his wife, and their six children received the surprise of his life when Ty Pennington stopped by his doorstep along with hundreds of skilled tradesmen. The family didn’t just receive a chance to have their North Lawndale home renovated but also received a much-needed getaway. However, not more than four years later, the family had to say goodbye to their home after defaulting on their mortgage payments. The family’s ill luck wasn’t because of the makeover and the extensive bills and utilities it demanded. Instead, it was because Gene, a union carpenter, had been out of work for several months.
Even though the family had been making ends meet through unemployment checks, managing their lives and expenses still became difficult. Ultimately, the backlash of the economy ended up becoming the trying factor in their life. In an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Gene said, “What we’re going through is not bad stewardship of our finances. We did everything we were supposed to do for three years.” Unable to make the payments, which accounted for more than 52% of his income, the family had picked up selling as the last resort after Harris Bank filed to foreclose on the Noyala’s $275,000 home loan.
The Yazzie Family Has Successfully Weathered Several Battles
The Yazzie family lived in a trailer and comprised Georgia, the matriarch, her children, Gwen, Garrett, Geraldine, and Geraldine’s two kids. The family’s dilapidated living conditions consisted of a structure run down with structural issues. Not only did the Yazzies have minimal resources, but they also faced a particularly hard time as Gwen suffered from epilepsy and asthma and needed blood transfusions every two weeks. For years, the family had been using a coal stove to keep their house heated.
However, burning coal gave way to fumes that didn’t just threaten Gwen’s well-being but also added another extra expenditure. To make sure that his sister wasn’t plagued by these issues, Garrett took it upon himself to construct a water heater made out of soda cans. The “junkyard genius” invented the solar power heating system by using plastic glass, soda cans, and a car radiator. Despite being recognized nationally for his invention, the family still faced countless issues as they did not have running water. After the show, the family dealt with peeling decorative veneer and failing wall insulation. In addition to facing health problems of her own, Georgia also faced house repairs as she had to deal with a faulty irrigation system that turned her front yard into a cesspool. The Yazzie’s heating system had also malfunctioned, and the family had to consistently crack up the thermostat in order to keep themselves warm.
As for Garrett Yazzie, the “Junkyard Genius” has continued to remain on track with his dreams to take his community’s beliefs and family to new heights. He has been a speaker for the Native American Summit’s Youth Track and had hoped to study radiology at Northern Arizona University. From what we can tell, Garrett is now a Data and Evidence Specialist at Salt Lake County in Utah. He also gave valuable insight during the production of ‘Without Fire,’ a short film based on the life of the Yazzie family.
The Jacobo Family Has Weathered Several Struggles
A family of twelve, Michelle and Jesus’ home had doubled in size when they decided to take in Michelle’s five nieces and nephews, who had been physically and verbally abused by their mother. At the same time, Michelle’s father had moved into the family home to help take care of the children. While the ABC team managed to double the house in size to cater to each member’s demands, the renovation ultimately riled up the property taxes. Later, a local homebuilder helped the family organize a fundraiser to stay afloat and pay their utility and insurance ills. Afterwards, the family continued to make memories in their house. They have since continued to live in the same house in Kansas City.
The Oatman-Gaitan Family Has Faced Personal Struggles
Debbie Oatman had been raising four sons in a dilapidated house in New York when she received the chance of a lifetime. Two of her three adopted sons were diagnosed with HIV, and a mold issue in the family had made their house inhabitable. After the show, however, the family became the recipient of several controversies. Their family’s sinking foundation, amenities, appliances, furniture, and granite countertops were replaced by the production team.
However, things still remained unruly for the family of four. Her son spoke to Times Union in 2011 and said, “She was happy and excited for maybe the first week, and then it was back to the same old garbage.” He confessed that his mother was prone to outbursts, and Debbie’s ex-husband, Joe Gaitan, confessed, “The house didn’t change her. She’s still her plain old nasty self.” Later, Kevin and his brother Brian left their mother and have since been estranged.