Mineola family getting Extreme Makeover

By Joe Terrell - bio | email

MINEOLA, TX (Raycom News Network) - Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has made that famous door knock in East Texas. This morning the Carr family from Mineola saw Ty Pennington and the others in their front yard, with the announcement that they are the newest, deserving family to get a total home makeover. 

Katrina and Mike Carr and their four adopted children are an inspirational family who strive every day to overcome severe physical challenges while living in a cramped and dangerous home. For the Extreme Makeover team and the hundreds of East Texas volunteers who will build the Carrs a new home. It's a Texas-sized opportunity to give back to a family who are role models of spirit and resilience.

Comedian, actor, producer, and author Bill Engvall will be the celebrity volunteer for this build.

Katrina and Mike Carr met while working at a summer camp for special-needs children. After they married six years later, the couple followed their passion of making a difference in the lives of others by adopting four kids from Kazakhstan who were abandoned at birth. Two of the children were born with Amniotic Band Syndrome, which caused Ryanne, now 7, to have both legs and one arm amputated, and Rina, 3, to lose a leg. Their brother Nikolas, 9, was recently diagnosed with Sensory Integration Dysfunction, which causes an inability to organize information as it comes through the senses. Compounding the family's struggles, health problems have required their father Mike, 41, to have both pancreas and kidney transplants over the past decade.

Yet, for all the challenges Ryanne, Rina, Nikolas and Mike face - and Katrina, 37, and daughter Haydn, 8, face with them - the Carrs carry on with unfailing spirit and optimism. Being a triple amputee hasn't stopped Ryanne, for example, from climbing trees, riding a handcycle and running. She's learned to rely on different prosthetics for different activities. Katrina, who has a master's degree in education, home schools her children who otherwise would miss public school classes too often for doctors' appointments. Mike has taught environmental education at camps for special needs kids and also is an artist and a jewelry designer.

The Carr Family's strength of character and loving support for each other, however, are not enough to overcome the challenges of their living quarters. Their small three-bedroom home is at high risk for fire due to a faulty electrical system. The one working bathroom is inaccessible for Ryanne and Rina, and the house's narrow hallways are difficult for them to maneuver. The air filtration system is ineffective, leaving germs and dust that especially jeopardize Mike's health. Furthermore, the plumbing system leaks throughout the house and the septic tank backs up. Now it's up to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition team leader Ty Pennington and his crew to give the Carr family the household resources, space and comfort they need and deserve.   

The Carr family will go on vacation to Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu while Extreme Makeover: Home Edition team leader Ty Pennington, designers Ed Sanders, Paige Hemmis, celebrity volunteer Bill Engvall, and John Littlefield, local builder Bayless Custom Homes Inc., and community volunteers rebuild their home.

The location address is: The Carr Family 190 County Road 2223, Mineola, TX 75773.

Stay tuned to KTRE.com for updates, stories and profiles of this very deserving family all day today as we give East Texans everything you need to know to help move that bus!

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