Extreme Makeover: Home Edition   -  About the Episode

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John and Anne-Marie Vitale of St. James, New York were a young, happily married couple with three beautiful boys. Their family was growing quickly, so they decided to move out of their small, two-bedroom home and into Anne-Marie's parents' house while they added on to their tiny abode. But soon after they moved out, tragedy moved in. Anne-Marie, at only 28 years of age, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia and died in August 2004. She was buried on what would have been her 29th birthday. Grief stricken, John, 32, who works as a policeman with the Suffolk County Police Department, continued to bring up their boys -- Jack, 4, Adrian, 2-1/2 and 18-month-old Luke -- at his in-laws' house. John has never been able to renovate, as the Vitales' savings were drained after paying hospital bills and for Anne-Marie's burial. But John and the boys do need their house back -- for the family's sake -- so the boys can live out a childhood that their young mother wasn't able to share in her own short life.

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