Home » ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” surprises patients
Jan. 23, 2005 – Texas Children’s Hospital
By Laura Frnka
Tuesday, Jan. 17 was no ordinary Tuesday for twin-sisters, Tara and Sara Kubena of East Bernard, Texas.
It was on that Tuesday that Tara and Sara, along with their family, learned that they would be receiving a brand new home designed by ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
Tara and Sara are both patients at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, the largest pediatric cancer center and hematology service in the country. At age 3, the twins were diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood cancer. The girls successfully completed treatment, only to relapse several years later. Now Tara is facing a bone marrow transplant, while Sara is in remission.
“This is such a unique case – to have both girls diagnosed with cancer within six months of each other and then have one relapse several years later,” said Dr. ZoAnn Dreyer, one of Sara and Tara’s oncologists and the chief of the long-term survivor program at Texas Children’s Cancer Center. “We are thrilled that the family is receiving this amazing gift – this experience will be something that Sara and Tara will never forget.”
The design team from ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” and construction crews from Royce Builders began clearing land immediately in preparation for the building process and plan to have the home constructed within a week. This particular “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” project is different from the others because usually a house is demolished or refurbished – this time the mobile home in which the Kubenas live, will be removed to make room for the new house.
“The Kubena girls have certainly endured a lot in their short lives,” said Dr. Robert Krance, another oncologist on the girls’ care team and chief of the bone marrow transplant program at Texas Children’s Cancer Center. “To go through a diagnosis of cancer once is enough for any child and their family, but twice,unimaginable. I couldn’t be happier that the Kubenas were selected to participate in such a wonderful experience.”