Arlene Nickless’s husband Tim worked for 18 years as a nurse, so it was especially tragic when he died from Hepatitis C.
He caught the disease after being pricked by a needle at work, and suffered for years before finally passing away in 2008. That left Arlene to look after their three sons and take care of their 1860s farmhouse.
The widow asked for help from ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and within months the cast arrived to change her life for the better.
The show’s 1,600 volunteers tore down her old house and put up a new 3,300 square foot dream home, with four bedrooms, new wood floors, stone columns, and a Lego-inspired room her sons.
“It was like everything was lifted off of me,” Nickless said about seeing her new home for the first time. “To know that that was our home, it was beautiful […] it was a new beginning for us.”
But just nine years later, the family’s world had been flipped upside down. Not only were they evicted, they also had to ironically hitch their moving trailer to the new car they received from the TV show.
And the reason for the heartbreaking twist is actually surprisingly common for Extreme Makeover contestants.