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.”
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