TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Jessica Gomez was in the home of her mother Thursday morning when a knock came at the door -- a shout really.
"All of a sudden we hear, 'Good Morning!' And I'm like, are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?! It was amazing -- huh guys?" Jessica and her two children, 7-year old Jonah and 5-year old Ellie had just gotten the Ty Pennington treatment. With a manner that is at once loud and endearing, Pennington announced to the Gomez family that Extreme Makeover Home Edition would be building them a new home.
Later that day Ty and company took the Gomez family in the famous Extreme Makeover bus to a vacant lot in Daybreak where their home will be built. As they got off the bus, a couple hundred volunteers encircled them and Ty introduced the family to some of the key people who will be working the project.
They were also met at the site by a handful of Real Salt Lake players who had just gotten off a plane from Chicago and came straight to Daybreak. The players have "adopted" Jonah since meeting him just over a year ago. Jonah is a big fan and his wish fulfilled by the team and the Make-a-Wish foundation was to see his heroes in person. Now they are his friends.
On the bus ride to Daybreak, Kyle Beckerman said "Just to see how much energy he has, all the things he goes through. You wouldn't know anything is wrong with him. He just goes about his life like any other kid and he's just crazy about soccer."
Jonah is not a bad baseball player either. He was hitting line drives off a tee when I first met him in 2007. He was a happy little boy who also was facing death from not one, but two blood diseases.
His only hope for a cure is a bone marrow transplant. Back then, a local foundation was launching a search for a compatible donor. Nearly five years later, they're still searching.
"Hopefully we can save Jonah's life," said Extreme Makeover design star Michael Moloney. He's referring to a yet-to-be unveiled effort by the TV show to greatly expand the search for a matching donor. However, the very design concept for the home will also help save Jonah's life.
"The air has to be clean for him," said Moloney. "The environment has to be clean and safe for him and he does not have that here (his grandmother's house). So we just want to give him the ultimate environment for his health -- keep him strong and keep him healthy until he gets that bone marrow transplant."
The family took off for Disneyland Thursday night as the digging of the foundation began on the job site. While Jessica Gomez and her child enjoy the Magic Kingdom, hundreds of Extreme Makeover volunteers will be working the real magic.