|Extreme Makeover - Season 9
Season 9 | Episode 910 | Aired 12/01/2011
Ty and the team travel to Springfield, Massachusetts to surprise the Walker family--mom Sirdeaner, her daughters Dominique and Gloria and her son Charles. Aunt Barbara is also part of the family, as is grandmother Dorkas Ineta Walker. But one very special person is no longer there.
On April 6, 2009, 11-year-old Carl Walker took his own life after being relentlessly bullied at school. Carl's family has focused their energies on helping others. They have turned this tragic event into something positive by lobbying for new state and federal laws against bullying.
The 3rd floor of the Walker home is where Carl took his own life. As a result, the family cannot bear the sadness of being on that floor. They need a new home that would meet their current needs yet also honor Carl in a positive way. Know anyone who can help?
Ty Pennington and designers Michael Moloney, Tracy Hutson, Jillian Harris, John Littlefield and local builders N. Riley Construction, Inc., as well as community volunteers, are tasked with building a new home while the Walkers are whisked away on a dream vacation to Hollywood.
Ty contacts them via video to show teen sensation Cody Simpson performing a special concert to raise awareness about bullying. Cody and hundreds of high school kids engage in a "Stand Together" march to the house carrying signs bearing disparaging social label names. Their mission is to make these labels disappear. They also make the family's old house disappear!
The team creates a Stand Together website to encourage others to take a stand against bullying. People can upload photos of themselves holding numbered signs to show their support and to make certain that the numbers on those signs just keeps going up! In other news, Elmo, Big Bird and Leela step away from Sesame Street to help with the build and put on a show to help stop bullying.
Ty and the team neatly pack and organize everything in Carl's room before they begin to build a brand new home that does not have a third floor. Michael and Tracy work on the basement together. Ty has the family make handprints while in Hollywood that he wants to use to make impressions into the concrete that they put at the base of a tree dedicated to Carl.
The family goes on the Ellen show where Ellen Degeneres tells them that Dominique has received an internship on Capitol Hill with her congressman from Massachusetts. But wait! There's more! Charles and Gloria are getting full scholarships to the University of Massachusetts.
Charles and Gloria meet two of the stars from Good Luck Charlie, Bridgit Mendler and Bradley Steven Perry. Dominique goes on a shopping spree with Kim and Kourtney Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian Odom. The Kardashian sisters host an Anti-Bullying Rally in support of the Walker family and enlist the help of their friend, Demi Lovato, to perform for the crowd. The event was sponsored by Sears.
Ty brings the family home early so they wouldn't miss the annual Carl Joseph Walker - Hoover Foundation 5K Race. Ty lets the family know that the team reached their goal of getting 10,000 people to join the "Stand Together" initiative. That's a lot of people standing together for one special cause. Now it's time to see the home and MOVE THAT BUS!
Here's a breakdown of the new digs:
• The new two-story home is on a raised foundation with a beautiful new porch and a white picket fence out front. The sunburst design at the top of the second story represents Carl.
• The spacious interior is amazing with silhouetted portraits on the wall with Carl represented there as well. The fireplace features the logo of the "Stand Together" website. It features others holding hands together. Sirdeaner is overwhelmed.
• Gloria's room is pink and purple and positively perfect with her name atop her new Princess Bed. The gymnastics designs on the wall are a tribute to her favorite activity.
• Gloria is a little afraid of the dark, so Tracy creates a glowing light that comes from under her bed. It's fitting because Gloria's nickname is "Glow."
• Johnny creates a "Best of Boston" sports room for Charles. Fenway Park's Green Monster is on one wall and tributes to the Patriots, Bruins and Celtics fill the rest of the room. There's even a Green Monster desk.
• The bed in Charles's room folds up so he can shoot hoops in his room next to a design lifted from the old Boston Garden floor.
• The bedroom for grandmother Dorkas Ineta Walker is beautiful and features more than enough space to navigate her wheelchair.
• Aunt Barbara's apartment is huge and still within arm's reach of the rest of the family. There's a little café spot and a nice little area for sewing. Barbara has a love of gardening, so Jillian makes sure the headboard of her bed is covered with silk flowers.
• Sirdeaner's master bedroom features a beautiful fixture from the old house with a tiny picture of Carl in its center.
• The beautiful new basement family room features a big interactive video screen on the wall with something for each family member. There's a nice lounge area as well as spot with a daybed for Dominique when she comes home from college. There are desks for each member of the family.
• The backyard is amazing. It features round base with all of the family's handprints as they encircle Carl's tree. It's as if the entire family is hugging him. Sirdeaner places an angel by the tree as a reminder of the angel that's watching over them now.
The amazing Walker family has been able to take a tragedy and turn it into a positive by making tremendous strides in the efforts to stop bullying. Sirdeaner knows that her new house is one that was built with love, so they can now live in peace. Welcome home, Walker family. Welcome home.