05.17.11, 01:49 PM #1
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‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ duped by family
Ty Pennington and the philanthropic crew of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" have been giving families the houses of their dreams through sweeping seven-day renovations and reconstructions since the series premiered in 2004.
The uplifting reality show brokers in hardest-luck cases that sometimes appear too sad to be true. And in some cases, as it turns out, they are: according to a recent trial in Oregon, it seems the would-be do-gooders were duped by a family falsely claiming two very sick young daughters.
"Extreme Makeover" recipients Chuck and Terri Cerda are the parents of Molly and Maggie, 10 and 8 respectively. Terri, in her appeal to the show, said she suffers from combined immunodeficiency disease, as do her daughters, who had to wear masks to guard against the toxins coursing through the air of their rundown, mold-filled Las Vegas house. You can watch a video of Terri and the two girls posted by the Immune Deficiency Foundation above.
That was before "Extreme Makeover" transformed their abode in March 2009 into "an opulent new home that included high-quality air filtration systems, an elevator, solar-heated swimming pool, gourmet kitchen and floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace," as The Oregonian's Steve Mays writes. But it turned out the Cerdas "couldn't afford the increased cost of operating the larger home. By fall 2009, the house was for sale and the family moved to Oregon."
Which is when their real troubles began. Mays reports:
Several doctors and a hospital social worker began to question Terri Cerda's insistence that her daughters had chronic health problems when tests and examinations indicated otherwise. In January, Dr. Thomas Valvano, an OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital pediatrician who specializes in suspected child abuse and neglect, reported the Cerdas to state child-welfare authorities, and in February, the state took temporary custody of the two girls.
The ensuing case in Clackamas County Circuit Court told a story much different from the one presented on television.
Six doctors testified that Molly, 10, and Maggie, 8, did not live in constant medical peril, as Terri Cerda claimed.
Valvano went further. The Cerda children, he told the judge, were victims of medical child abuse.
The Cerda family's case is not the only the ethical oversight "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" has been charged with in its seven years on air.
Back in 2005, for instance, five orphaned siblings sued a couple that allegedly took them into their care in order to get a new nine-bedroom house before turning the kids out one by one. In 2007, a Hawaii couple that benefited from the program's generosity was revealed to have a household income of more than $200,000. And last year, the Wall Street Journal detailed the plights of three families who either struggled "to pay the upkeep on their expensive new homes" or ended "up with bigger mortgages that are hard to maintain.""Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton
05.17.11, 11:25 PM #2
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does this show not research the people it's potentially going to help?...it seem's to me that by doing a few simple checks that they could save some time and money for people who actually could benefit from their generosity.http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150
And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's
"The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW
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Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!
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05.18.11, 07:06 AM #3
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My son enjoys watching this show, and Ty and the rest of the crew can certainly be quite entertaining. I consider it however to be little more than an hour long commercial for Sears and Ford, two of the major sponsors. If they truly wanted to help families in need they could build many more less elaborate homes or even renovate existing homes that aren't in such bad shape. They typically go for the most desperate families with numerous medical conditions and homes that have extensive mold damage, rotting wood, and other serious construction issues. Hey, it gets the ratings I guess. You're right, you'd think they would do a better job of screening the potential families. They many times get the local bank to even tear up the mortgage on the new home. Even doing that, I'd have to imagine that many of these can families are unable to afford the property taxes, monthly utilities, and other normal upkeep in their new million dollar plus properties.
My 13 year old son is high-functioning autistic (no problems with verbal communications) and was diagnosed with this and other related issues around age 3. We have quite a few challenges each day related to his condition but we make do- it is what it is. The main issues are related to his inability to transition between activities and extreme behavioral and mood swings that can be violent. Perhaps I should trump up all of his issues and make a pitch to this show? He enjoys music and I've played guitar for ages. Maybe we could get a high tech soundproof music room out of the deal.
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