Timely `Extreme Makeover' brings welcome change

August 20, 2005|By Jonathan Pitts

When TV star Ty Pennington strolled into her home in Washington's Capitol Heights neighborhood last Saturday, Veronica Ginyard's world changed.

One Sunday night this fall, fans of ABC's hit series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition are liable to find out just how many nails it takes to hammer together a happier life. Ginyard, 44, knows something about rehabilitation. Just five years ago, the single mom extricated herself from an abusive long-term relationship, a situation that got so bad she twice ventured to Baltimore, where she sought help at the House of Ruth Maryland, a battered-women's crisis center. Since then, she has worked multiple jobs to provide a safer life for her eight children.

Until last weekend, even hard work wasn't enough. The exposed wiring, cramped quarters and persistent mold made the place "extremely hazardous," says Mozell Miley, a show spokeswoman. "It needed lots of work."

After Pennington's visit, ABC whisked the family away for a nine-day Disney World vacation, leaving the place in the hands of the show's massive makeover team. When the Ginyards return in the next few days, the rehab - and the filming - will be complete.

"We're not sure how it's going to look yet," Miley says, "but we think Veronica will like it. She's an amazingly strong woman, a very deserving person." The show will air sometime this fall. Still on vacation in Orlando yesterday, Ginyard could not be reached for comment.

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