A Home Makeover For Sick Teens

Saturday, November 3rd 2007, 4:54 pm
By: News On 6

A Green Country community rallies around a struggling family. Residents of Inola are spending their weekend rebuilding Kathy Sontag's home. Two of Kathy's teenage daughters suffer from an extremely rare, and often fatal, blood disorder. The News On 6’s Chris Wright reports the girl's home is undergoing a major renovation.

Britney and Cassie Sontag are in Ohio, recovering from bone marrow transplants. While they are away, Inola is hurrying to give their home an extreme makeover. Britney and Cassie have a bond that goes beyond mere sisterhood. Both are fighting the rare blood disorder, Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. It is also known as HLH. The disorder attacks the immune system.

As part of their treatment, the two sisters temporarily moved to Cincinnati this summer to undergo bone marrow transplants. When they return next month with their mother, the Sontags may not recognize their Inola home. For the past few weeks, the community has donated its time and materials to remodel the house.

"It's a privilege to give something back to the community that you live in,” said Zach Rush with CR Construction.

Because of the teens' weak immune systems, they will not be able to share a room with anyone else. So the volunteers are adding one, converting the garage into a master bedroom. They are also taking extra precautions to make sure everything is sanitary.

This project does present some challenges for contractors. Because of the conditions of the two, they have to remove all the insulation, make sure the environment is sterile and free of any airborne bacteria. That attention to detail doesn't go unnoticed by Ashley Holubeck, one of Kathy's other two daughters who have remained in Inola.

"It's amazing to see people step up, and knowing that they care enough that much about us," said Ashley Holubeck, Britney and Cassie’s sister.

They'll have to really step up to finish the remodeling job by December first. But, the volunteers say it will all be worth it when the family sees its new home.

"Their eyes will light up and they know and can see how much support they actually have,” said Zach Rush of CR Construction.

Inola residents have already donated thousands of dollars to help with the rebuilding costs.

Other donations can be made at the 1st Bank Oklahoma of Inola. They’re also selling shirts for $10 to help offset some of the costs.

Watch the video: A Home Makeover For Teens With Cancer