Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's Local Connection

By: Philip Stewart
By: Philip Stewart

February 12, 2006

Sunday night on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition featured a woman in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Sunday's show was about rebuilding a home for a woman with Multiple Sclerosis. It turns out when the show was doing it's work here in Virginia, some local businesses and organizations were asked to pitch in.

"Don't get drunk, don't get pregnant and don't get too stressed out and good luck," said Lisa Eorio, an M.S. Leader at the local chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. "That was pretty discouraging to a 21 year-old and her family," she added.

She says her doctor told her that in 1976 when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Groups like the Blue Ridge Chapter of the National M.S. Society here in Charlottesville can provide even more support.

"In this part of Virginia we provide a wide variety of educational and support programs aimed at improving the quality of life for people who have M.S," said Fay Painter, the president of the local chapter.

Late last year Painter's organization was called upon for a special project, when the ABC show needed help.

Tonight viewers saw the project: A new home and dance studio for a woman in Blacksburg with M.S.

"We did get a tour of the house while it was being built and actually there were some things that we did talk with them about in terms of accessibility, and so we did provide some input," said Painter.

But the local connection to the show didn't stop there. Tonight Cruchfield held a screening party at their store to watch Sunday's episode. They also had a hand in the project.

"We were contacted on day four of the build about mid-morning and asked if we could show up no later than the next morning to help on a special project," said John Haydock, of Crutchfield.

Matthew Kennedy, an onsite installer for Crutchfield said, "they didn't give me a whole lot of information other than there were two rooms, and Ty had actually asked for a 'kick-butt' surround sound."

The sound system was installed in a dance studio as part of Ty Pennington's special project.

At Sunday's party, Crutchfield presented the local chapter of the M.S. Society with a donation.

Lisa Eorio hopes a national audience saw what people with Multiple Sclerosis need most.

"Support groups, education, fitness programs, those things are changing our lives and giving us hope," said Eorio.

Lisa and Fay and, of course, the Crutchfield staff was there tonight. All of the people who actually visited the site said that it is truly amazing what this show does in just seven days of construction.

For more information about M.S. the Charlottesville chapter of the M.S. Society, or Crutchfield, check out these links:

National Multiple Sclerosis Society at: www.nationalmssociety.org

Crutchfield at: www.crutchfield.com

ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition link at: abc.go.com/primetime/xtremehome


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