By Jessica Spies, staff writer
Posted Nov 26, 2008 @ 06:58 PM
Greece, N.Y. —
In July 2006, Dean and Tammie Myslivecek endured a tragedy no parent should — their 16-year-old son, Daniel, died from metastatic melanoma, a form of skin cancer.
Six months later, their daughter Abigal, now 11, was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a condition in which the body stops producing enough new blood cells.
“My heart broke when I found out about Abigal,” said Sandi Moneta, a friend of the family.
Moneta’s daughter, Sarina, had Dean as a science teacher at Gates Chili High School and she had also been friends with Daniel.
“I just slowly got into the family’s life,” Moneta said. “When the daughter Abigal got diagnosed, that’s when I really got involved.”
Moneta knew the Mysliveceks’ one-story, 1,100-square-foot ranch home on Union Street in North Chili was too small for the Mysliveceks and their three surviving children, Abigal, Alyssa, 16, and David, 9. It was also in need of routine repairs like new windows and siding.
Moneta nominated the Mysliveceks to be on the hit ABC show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” in May 2007, but never heard anything. Not wanting to sit around and wait for a response, she and her husband, Lou, in January developed the Extreme Hope Project.
The goal? Rebuild the Mysliveceks’ home with money raised through various fundraisers.
“At first, when she talked to us about it, it was a hard thing to believe for someone to want to do this for us,” said Tammie Myslivecek of Moneta. “It makes you very humble.”
So far, about $23,000 of the $35,000 goal has been raised. Fundraisers have included car washes, garage sales and a concert that kicked off the project.
Moneta found a general contractor, Chili resident Bill Sauers (owner of Sunday Siders), who was willing to donate his time and work for free, and the project gained momentum as more people offered to help. Joining Sauers in the project are architect Al Arilotta, home builder Jamie Valerio of Perna Homes, Jeff Henchen of Landmark Builders, Frank Martin of Martin Construction, and Nick DeRisio of DeRisio Construction — to name a few.
According to Tammie Myslivecek, Abigal is doing well. Her blood counts are normal and she was weaned off chemotherapy this summer. If not treated, aplastic anemia could be fatal.
“It’s amazing how much people that we don’t even know that well or at all are helping us,” Tammie said. “It’s such a huge project for Sandi to do herself.”
The next fundraiser for the Extreme Hope Project will be Nov. 30 at Horizon Fun FX.
For more information on the Extreme Hope Project, please visit www.extremehopeproject.org.