Just about everyone has seen the show. Some must even have tissues on hand before gathering in front of the television on Sunday evenings. We have even had several families in the Kansas City metro who have been recipients of a home remodel or reconstruction as part of the ABC show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
And now you have the opportunity to help another family receive the gift of a home; one that will allow their disabled children to move throughout the house, one that is accessible, and one that is desperately needed.
Meet the Kottwitz Family of Versailles, Missouri, near the Lake of the Ozarks.
John (28) and Sarah (25) are young parents to three children; beautiful special needs kids. Tristan (7), Kylie (6), and Ethan (4) were each born with Cerebral Palsy. While Tristan has some mobility in leg braces, both Kylie and Ethan are confined to wheelchairs and will likely never walk on their own.
This loving family lives in a 1940s home with 2.5 bedrooms and one bathroom, totaling 940 square feet. It is not accessible, minus the wheelchair ramp that John himself built at the entrance of their home. As the kids continue to grow, so does the size and scope of their medical supplies. There simply is no more room.
All three children require round the clock care. Because their home’s only accessibility accommodation is a wooden ramp John built at the entrance to their house, Sarah must carry her kids around the home. As Tristan, Kylie, and Ethan age and grow, she will soon no longer able to lift her children.
Mike McGinness of Dyllan Construction, a Kansas City based residential and commercial construction and remodeling company, met the parents through mutual friends who own Jolly Rogers Grub and Grog at the Lake of the Ozarks. “I have known this family for five years. I always knew that they had children with special needs, but I have never once heard a complaint or a negative word come out of either one of their mouths. They are definitely a hard working family with a lot of positive qualities.“
Mike’s wife, Meredyth Melcher, also of Dyllan Construction, is spearheading the effort to raise awareness, not only of the struggles this family faces, but also about Cerebral Palsy. “I have learned so much about this genetic defect as I have worked to spread the word about our friends. I hope that as people learn about John, Sarah, Tristan, Kylie, and Ethan, they will also spend even a few minutes educating themselves about Cerebral Palsy. In fact, March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, so this campaign is perfect timing for education.”
There are several ways to help this young family as their friends, family, and community pursue a needed dream, one that will catch the eye of ABC, the show producers, and Ty Pennington himself:
- SIGN THE PETITION
- Click here to sign the petition. The goal is 100,000 signatures. In just a couple of days, more than 25,000 people have signed, but that is 75,000 signatures still needed. It takes just moments to enter your information in support of the family and there is no monetary cost involved. SIGNATURES MUST BE RECEIVED BY THURSDAY, MARCH 31.
- EMAIL THE SHOW DIRECTLY
- To personally nominate the family for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, send an email to the casting department. Note “Kottwitz Family” in the subject line and let them know you would like to see this deserving family on the show.
- KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE FAMILY’S EXTREME ENDEAVOR
- Click here to “like” the Kottwitz Family Extreme Makeover: Home Edition journey on Facebook. A website has also been set up for the family which includes additional pictures of the children, as well as a touching video showing “a day in the life” of this young family.
- HOST A FUNDRAISER TO HELP WITH MEDICAL COSTS
- Multiple local events and fundraising drives are in the works to help the Kottwitz Family attempt to make payment on their mounting medical bills. Details will be written about in future articles. If you are interested in hosting an event or donating money, goods, or services to one that is already being planned, you may contact Steph (see information below) and she will relay your information to local organizers.
*To contact Steph about upcoming Kansas City volunteer opportunities you would like to see covered by hornface.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or find her via Facebook or Twitter.
(Steph is also the Kansas City College Admissions Examiner. Click the link to view articles on that topic.)