One-week 'Extreme Makeover' build begins

March 6, 2009 3:11:41 PM PST
A North Carolina family was surprised this morning when they opened their door to Ty Pennington.Pennington is the design team leader for ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." He and his team arrived in Jamesville, N.C. at the Cooper home Friday morning, according to a news release.

"Extreme Makeover" is teaming with N.C. based Edenton Builders, Inc. to build the family's new home.

The Coopers were chosen based the show's special series, which is called Heroes Helping Heroes. The focus is heroes in everyday life.

Thousands of nominations were submitted from around the country.

The Cooper family is made up of Jeff Cooper, his wife Clara and their children Windy and Aaron. They live in Jamesville, which is located near Albermarle.

Jeff Cooper is a former combat medic with the U.S. Army. He served in the Gulf War in the early 1990s.

Cooper is highly decorated for his service and suffers from Gulf War Syndrome. He is now confined to a wheelchair and has multiple sclerosis.

Over the year, Cooper has served as an advocate for veterans, lobbying for a special license plate honoring Gulf War Veterans and speaking out for the rights of the disabled.

Unfortunately, Cooper is not the only one in his family facing tough challenges. His son, Aaron, was severely injured two years ago when a garbage truck ran him over.

Although Cooper was able to use his medic skills to save his son's life, Aaron lost most of his right arm and has undergone multiple surgeries since then.

The Coopers remain upbeat, despite their difficulties.

Their home, a double-wide trailer, is leaking and decaying. It has bad wiring, a sinking roof and a rotting ramp that is not equipped for Jeff or Aaron.

While Pennington, his crew and more than 1,000 volunteers get to work on making over the Cooper home, the family will go on vacation in Washington D.C.

They will return March 13.

Local builder Jon Norris of Edenton Builders, Inc. and local architect, Jonathan White of Beacon Architecture in Kitty Hawk, N.C., are among those helping to construct a custom-designed home for the Coopers.

It's not too late if your want to volunteer or donate to the makeover.

Interested individuals or companies can find out how to volunteer time and resources at www.extremeebheroes.com.

One-hundred percent of all funds will go toward making this build possible and to help the Cooper's dreams come true.

For more information on how to make an electronic monetary donation,click here.

If you'd rather contribute by check, please send checks or money orders to Extreme Family, c/o Edenton Builders, LLC, 307 S. Broad St., Edenton, NC 27932.

Non-working spectators are welcome at the build site Monday through Friday only.


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