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ABC's 'Extreme Makover: Home Edition' designers find job emotional

By Christopher Rocchio, 01/24/2007 

Building a house can be physically demanding.  But for some of the designers who regularly appear on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the job can also take an emotional toll.

"Sometimes it gets a little hard because you can't help but have empathy for these families; especially since I've become a mom myself, I get even more emotional," Home Edition designer Tracy Hutson said in an interview published in the January 29 issue of OK! Weekly.  "But it's so wonderful to actually be able to make a difference in someone's life and to see the support they get from the community."

In each episode of Home Edition, a spin-off of ABC's since-cancelled Extreme Makeover plastic surgery makeover series, several designers descend upon a family who's home is in need of a fix-up or a replacement.  The twist is that the families are usually deserving of living in better conditions, so their neighbors and hometown are more than willing to help.  In addition, the designers on Home Edition don't just build a new house, they stock it with furnishings unique to the family and tackle landscaping as well.

"It is exhausting," Home Edition designer Paige Hemmis told OK!.  "But I keep in touch with a lot of the families because we genuinely care."

The show, presently in its fourth season, is currently working its way across the 50 states and helping a family in each one.  Hemmis specifically remembers an Ohio family she recently met.  The dad had lost his wife on Mother's Day, and they had a 5-week-old baby, a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old.

"The kids were so cute, and they just got to me," Hemmis told OK!.  Added British-born Home Edition designer Ed Sanders, "It's impossible not to get affected by the stories of these families."

Hutson, who is married to What About Brian star Barry Watson, said when she came to Home Edition from her interior-design business, she was surprised at how well-traveled the show's designers become.

"I was shocked by how much traveling is actually involved," she told OK!.  "But that is balanced out by the shock I get every time we go to a new town and get such amazing greetings."

Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition can be seen on ABC on Sundays at 8PM ET/PT.

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