"Life Changing", Williams family talk about life after Extreme Makeover

By Laura Ann Sills - email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - After three months of hearing stories about what happened in Pine Mountain Valley, GA while they were gone, the Williams family finally got to see their dream home come together.  The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show featuring the family aired Sunday night.

Mom, Jennifer, said, "The whole process is just surreal. And, it is just so unbelievable. Just knowing even then, while the show was taking place, even then I thought I knew how much this was going to change our lives, but I really didn't."

The Williams were living in a home that was not easily accessible for two of their family members.

"It took a long time to decide to go through the application process and one of the reasons was because we have always felt so blessed to live where we live and have the community that we have.  I think it is just neat that because of the Extreme Makeover show now the whole nation will know that a wonderful community we live in," explained Jennifer.

For a week in February, thousands of volunteers and a crew from the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show worked around the clock to give the family their dream home.

What they created was not only fabulous, but incredibly functional.

"In the new house I can roll around, but in the old house I couldn't," explained Jacob. 

Jacob was born with Spina Bifida, and before the Home Makeover his independence level was low, now his parents notice a new self confidence spreading even outside their home. 

"When he worked on his walking, he always wanted a hand on him. After being in this home for a month we went to therapy and he was like, 'I don't need any help, I got it.'"

Dad, Jeremy, admits that it is not too far in the future when he will also be in a wheel chair.  He was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig disease, a few years ago.

As head football coach at Greenville High School, even his team was blessed by the makeover.  Their field house got a makeover and all new equipment.

Jeremy said, "If there was a need it was met, right then.  That was a little taste of heaven."

The family got a chance to tell the extreme team what they wanted in their dream home.

For eight year old Josie, being close to her animals even when she is inside was top of her list.  "It is like you are in a barn. They re-did the whole end of the house just so they could do my tree house."

For mom, a childhood wish came true. Jennifer explained, "One of my favorite things about our room is the claw-footed tub. I have always wanted a claw-footed tub my entire life and that was not something I ever shared with Extreme.  So, when I walked in and saw that it was an awesome blessing."

The Williams are still blown away by how many people sacrificed for them.  Jeremy said, "At times I still come off the mountain and come here and say 'wow,' we live here.  It just makes you feel so blessed that we have this community that we have."

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