Tuesday, March 10, 2009 | 10:36 p.m.
Members of a Las Vegas family got a knock on the door Tuesday that will change their lives.
The Cerda family, of 5760 Royal Castle Lane in the northwest valley, was told by the cast and crew of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” that it was chosen to have the family's home demolished and rebuilt in seven days.
“I’ve had probably 18 out-of-body experiences so far today and I’m sure I’ve got about 25 more stacked up, and this is absolutely amazing and we can’t wait,” said homeowner Chuck Cerda, a Homeland Security police officer.
The family was one of five finalists from Las Vegas and won because the home is nearly unlivable for their two daughters, who were diagnosed with Combined Immune Deficiency Disease at the age of 3.
“Having the better environment is going to lengthen their lives,” Cerda said.
The Cerdas say they have been isolated in their home because of the girls’ illness and were thankful for volunteers and the support of the Las Vegas community.
“Even in tough times, people can pull together like this. It's just amazing to us because we have so many friends that are struggling right now and for those people to put aside their problems right now to come out this week ... is truly amazing," Chuck's wife, Terri, said. "We feel so blessed to have this community around us."
Hundreds of people have signed up to volunteer for the various jobs needed during the demolition and rebuilding of the house. One volunteer, Randy Jenkins, a regional operator for the Baja Fresh restaurant, was on site scoping out the house before Thursday’s demolition. Baja Fresh will provide four meals to workers and volunteers during the rebuilding, which will begin this week.
“I always see it on TV and I didn’t know they were coming to Vegas, and just with the family and the volunteers and what they do, we just wanted to get involved with the community,” Jenkins said.
Several neighbors also were out Tuesday watching the commotion of cameras and waiting to say goodbye to the Cerdas as they begin a weeklong vacation in Maui.
“It's really good because everybody struggles with properties, everyone is losing their houses, and it's very exciting that they’re going to make a difference in all this mess that’s going on,” neighbor Cristina Valdez said.
The family is leaving for Hawaii on Wednesday morning, then the house will be demolished Thursday and rebuilt by volunteers and Wright Custom Homes. The family will return Tuesday to see the new customized house.
ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” airs at 8 p.m. Sundays.