‘Extreme Maker’ house will be life-changing, friend says

Time is almost up for the team of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. One volunteer is calling the project one of Biblical proportions.

Friday was all about landscaping. More than 300 plants were delivered to the Keefer's home. Friday night, hardwood floors will be installed, and Saturday will be the day all the furniture is loaded into the show.

All week, there's been a lot of focus on Brian's new wing, which will include voice-activated technology to make him more independent.

Nurses from Penn State Hershey Medical Center, where Brian Keefer spent a lot of time after his accident, came to the Keefer's home to volunteer. They said the new home is everything the Keefer family needs and more.

“He's a very vibrant young man,” said Sandi Brettler, who met Brian during his time at Penn State Hershey. “It's amazing what he went through and how he is today. If you could only see him from the neck up, you would never know he had that injury. He is a positive person, truly a good face for people with spinal chord injuries. He is one of those kind of guys that just has a positive affect on everybody around him.”

Brian's goal is to be able to walk again one day. The nurses said that is certainly a possibility, and the house will be a big step in his progress.

Also on the build was Brian's best friend, Matt Marshall.

“Mr. and Mrs. Keefer, while they both seem to have an eternal energy that just never runs out, they are drained,” Marshall said. “It was so hard to do things in their own house, just to do everyday tasks and to constantly be squeezing by things, because his therapy equipment was taking up a ton of space. That kind of thing was a big hassle, and to not have to deal with those everyday hassles is going to make a big difference.”

Marshall arrived at the Keefer's home at 6:30 Sunday morning, determined not to leave until it was complete. He even came with a tent to camp out in a neighbor's lawn, but one of the neighbors took him into their home. Brian is going to be the best man at Matt's wedding.

Volunteers were the superstars at the Keefer's home. Art Dunkelberger volunteered for several days.

“The best word to describe it was pandemonium,” he said. “Everything was organized. I never seen anything go so fast. As soon as a piece was hung, someone was finishing that. I've never experienced that. It's perfectly falling into place. When there's a piece of wood cut, it's nailed in, there's something going over it, or a wire going through it.”

Dunkelberger said the house is going up faster than an Amish barn.

“I don't think my vocabulary could pick up the word that best describe the scenario that follows,” he said about the build. “You have to be here to see it, to learn the words to describe it, I've never, probably will never, see nothing like this in my life, but I'm really glad I was really able to participate in this.”

The big reveal is Sunday. If you want to come out and cheer on the designers, the builders, the crew, and the Keefer family, it's best to go to Red Mill Elementary School in Etters and take a shuttle to the home.

The reveal is expected to be sometime around 3 p.m.

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