Season 3 | Episode 26 | Aired 05/14/06
Jim and Gina Arena of Somers, NY, the loving parents of "Jimboy," their only son, whose life and death touched the hearts of everyone in their community, received the remarkable news that they will receive a beautiful and renovated home in just seven days.
Jimmy "Jimboy" Arena changed an entire community forever. Diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor at five years of age, Jimboy stayed strong. He inspired hundreds of neighbors, community members, several fire departments, officials and his own family with his infectious smile and spirit. Everyone in town knew Jimboy and prayed for him. They held fundraisers, birthday parties and even a parade to welcome him home from the hospital. But on September 28, 2005, shortly after his sixth birthday, Jimboy died and the Arena Family lost their only son.
Jim and Gina had set out to do whatever they could to help their little boy battle his illness. What little money they had saved over the years -- funds that were earmarked for several sorely needed repairs on the Arenas' dilapidated house -- were put to far more necessary purposes. The money was used so they could travel with Jimboy to give him a second chance at life by seeking experimental medical treatments around the country.
Now the same community which supported Jimboy wants to pay tribute to him and help his family fix their broken home. A large Italian clan, the Arenas can't even enjoy a dinner together, though mom loves to cook. Their small house has seen its share of wear and tear from the kids and is literally falling apart and bursting at the seams! With SIX daughters and one bathroom, the Arenas are in desperate need of bigger and better facilities.
In this episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, we learn how one little boy changed the lives of hundreds, as Ty, the design team, local builder Alure Home Improvement and volunteers help Jimboy's family get back on their feet and into a better and more accommodating new home. While their new home is being built, the Arena family will go on vacation at Walt Disney World.
In addition, New York Yankee catcher Jorge Posada meets up with Ty to donate an item for the new home, and singer Jewel performs at a memorial for Jimboy.
The design team for this episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will feature team leader Ty Pennington, Paul DiMeo, Ed Sanders, Paige Hemmis and Daniel Kucan.