Extreme Makeover: Home Edition announced today that the home to be built in Daybreak will benefit the family of Jonah Gomez, a boy with two rare blood disorders currently living with relatives in Taylorsville, Utah. Holmes Homes will be constructing a new home for the family from the ground up near Daybreak’s Oquirrh Lake.
At just seven years old, Jonah first gained local media attention when he charmed the fans of a Real Salt Lake game last April. As part of his Make-A-Wish foundation request, tiny Jonah was able to stand in the stadium and meet the team’s players as well as sing alongside American Idol icon, David Archuleta. Now, a year later, Jonah continues to struggle to stay alive, combating two blood diseases, resulting in thousands of dollars per year in medical expenses. Although Jonah must take oxygen while he sleeps and is often not able to play outside with the extreme weather in Utah being too hot or too cold, you’d never know it from his joyful demeanor. His mother, Jessica, couldn’t hide the tears when Extreme Makeover: Home Edition showed up at her door. Having given up her airline job to take care of Jonah, she lost her health insurance last November and has done her best to soldier on. Now, not only will she, Jonah and her five-year-old daughter Ellie be the recipient of a brand new home in Daybreak designed specifically to help Jonah, but money is already being raised by the new community in an effort to help cover Jonah’s on-going care.
While many Extreme Makeover: Home Edition projects demolish an existing home, the Gomez home will be built from the ground up, starting today. Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Utah Copper has donated an empty lot at the corner of Daybreak’s Oquirrh Lake Road and Talquin Lane in South Jordan, and is coordinating the planning, donation and volunteer efforts. Holmes Homes and its team of builders, sponsors and volunteers who are donating their time and much of the materials will build the home in less than a week. The new location will provide the Gomez family with a healthy, convenient, and energy efficient lifestyle, with access to Oquirrh Lake, several large parks and play equipment, as well as Eastlake Elementary School—all within a five minute walk. The TRAX light rail service coming this summer will provide the family with quick, direct access to the University of Utah and Primary Children’s Medical Center where Jonah is receiving regular treatments.
“We are confident that we’ve selected the best possible location to build this new home,” said Ty McCutcheon, Vice President of Community Development at Rio Tinto, the developers of Daybreak. “Like every home in Daybreak, the Gomez family will be able to take advantage of more opportunities for social interaction and recreation, as well as be welcomed into a community of love and support.”
The family will also receive an even greater surprise later in the week:
For years Jonah has needed a bone marrow transplant and has had difficulty finding a match because he’s of Latin descent—statistically, fewer minorities join the National Marrow Donor Program. After learning of his plight, MLS soccer stadiums around the country in Pasadena, Washington D.C., San Jose, Philadelphia, Dallas and Kansas City will be holding concurrent bone marrow drives on Saturday, June 25th during their games in Jonah’s honor—registering thousands of people to be tested in one day. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition designers Michael Moloney and Paige Hemmis will kick off the campaign at Rio Tinto stadium, filming fans being tested and showing support for Jonah during the halftime show for Real Salt Lake’s game against the Toronto FC. Zions Bank will also have booths at the stadium for fans to make cash donations towards completion of the home and the family’s medical expenses. To buy tickets, visit realsaltlake.com/tickets. Those not attending the game that would like to register for the National Marrow Donor Program are encouraged to visit the website getswabbed.org for more information.
The Daybreak Extreme Makeover: Home Edition project is still in need of volunteers and donations to be able to complete the Gomez home. The project team will be holding a benefit concert with David Osmond, Alex Boyé, Thurl Bailey and entertainer Jason Hewlett Tuesday, June 28 at Herriman High School at 7 p.m. Tickets will be $20 at the door.
For information on how you can help, please visit daybreakutah.com or facebook.com/Daybreakutah. You can also make a donation at any Zions Bank branch under the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Daybreak account.
6172 W. Lake Avenue
South Jordan, UT 84009
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