"EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION" JOINS THE CALL TO ACTION
TO RAISE AWARENESS OF MINORITY BONE MARROW DONORSHIP
AND SURPRISES THE GOMEZ FAMILY OF SOUTH JORDAN, UTAH
Thousands of Volunteers Register for the National Marrow Donor Program
"Gomez Family" - "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" travels to South Jordan, Utah in an episode featuring the Gomez family, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Fun-loving, impish Jonah Gomez is like any loveable, mischievous little boy in the first grade, with hopes and dreams of becoming a professional soccer player. His love of life has not been diminished by the fact that he has blood disorders which have caused him to undergo open-heart surgery. Mom Jessica and younger sister Ellie have made every effort to help Jonah live his life to the fullest. Despite Jonah's illness and the fact that Jessica had to give up her airline job to take care of him, the Gomez Family have done their best to soldier on, never losing their love of life and having fun. When Jonah is healthy enough, he plays on a soccer team and attends games of Salt Lake Real soccer team, whose players have become his protective friends and supporters. Although Jonah must take oxygen while he sleeps and is often not able to play outside with the extreme weather in Utah, you'd never know it from his joyful demeanor. He seems like every other kid�excited to play soccer and to joke with his sister.
The Gomez Family are much loved in their community, which has rallied around to help keep Jonah happy and healthy while also spreading the word about the importance of bone marrow donorship. So far there has been no bone marrow match for Jonah. He faces a tougher challenge than most because he's of Latin descent and statistically fewer minorities join the National Marrow Donor Program. Jessica has not only assumed a proactive role in identifying the best treatment options, she's also been a passionate advocate for bone marrow donation and cord blood donation, and for spreading the word about the need for minority bone marrow donorship -- an issue many people are unaware of.
During the EM:HE build, thousands of volunteers signed up to be bone marrow donors. Matches were found for four patients. The search continues for a match for Jonah. For more information or to register for the National Marrow Donor Program, please go to www.marrow.org.
Ty Pennington and the "EM: HE" team of designers Xzibit, Paige Hemmis, Michael Moloney, local builder Holmes Homes, Inc and local business Rio Tinto, as well as community volunteers, helped build the new home.
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" is produced by Endemol USA, of Endemol Holding, and executive-produced by Brady Connell & George Verschoor. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America.
For more information on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," visit http://abc.go.com/shows/extreme-makeover-home-edition