Want 'Makeover' magic? Cameras not necessary say East Texans

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

BERRYVILLE, TX (KLTV) - Extreme Makeover: Home Edition touched many lives as a Mineola family's life was forever changed. But, before the show announced it was coming to East Texas, another group of builders and volunteers decided to give a deserving family an extreme makeover of their own.

For 13 years he has fought a deadly disease, but you can't take the smile off Taylor Kirkpatrick's face.

"Taylor has a disease," said mother Mindy Kirkpatrick. "It's very rare. He was walking playing little league everything was lovely and then when it relapsed in his brain it has just gradually has taken his ability to walk.

Still Taylor keeps fighting. Many hours are spent in therapy, keeping muscles limber. His ability to move is now kept to a wheelchair.

"It's livable but there's a lot of struggles, like getting him on and off the toilet, in the shower," said Mindy.

A visit to the bathroom requires Taylor to drive down a ramp and follow a path nearly 50 yards to his grandparent's home - an obstacle friends decided needed to end.

"[It] started as an idea," said builder Jason Campbell. "We came out here and met with Mindy and Taylor."

Campbell is not a TV star. He builds houses and surprised Taylor and Mindy with an extreme makeover of their own back in January.

"I was speechless," said Mindy. "I think I just put my hand over my mouth and just couldn't believe what I was hearing. It was just crazy!"

"You can't help but be touched by Taylor by what's going on here," said Campbell.

The builder is not alone. More than 100 East Texas businesses have donated more than $50,000 of materials for a new home constructed solely by volunteers.

"Normal door is 36-inches wide," explained Campbell. "This door is 42-inches. Plus, it's also 8-feet tall."

Wider doorways, fewer hallways and specially designed rooms will give Taylor free reign.

"Just to watch the process is amazing just to see, really, God work through these people," said Mindy.

"You don't realize how blessed you are until you realize how many people need more blessings and being able to make that happen makes it ten times more unbelievable," said Campbell.

"I just feel like God's telling us, 'Yeah, you have a rough road ahead of you, but here's something to help you out,'" said Mindy.

Due to all labor being volunteers working weekends, the completion date for the home is set for early this fall.

If you would like to help the Kirkpatrick's family's cause, click here.

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