Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Hopes to Bring Some Sunshine to a Wellman, Texas Family Who Lost Their Teen-aged Daughter in a Texting-while-driving Accident

On November 16, the Brown family — Jeanne, Johnnie Mac and their 12-year-old daughter Katrina, were giving a presentation to area high school students at Seagraves High School in their small hometown of Wellman, Texas (population 300). They told the teen-aged audience about the dangerous consequences that can come from driving while talking on a cell phone, texting-while-driving and riding in a car without a seat belt. Sadly, this family knows their topic too well since losing their loved one, Alex, who was texting-while-driving and not wearing her seatbelt. While Amanda Billings was speaking about the experience of losing her best friend since childhood, she gave a cue and the 600-plus students reached below their seats and lifted up cards that read “Good Morning, Brown Family!” Then, the EM: HE bus rode onto the football field, and the design team jumped out to let this deserving family know that they are the latest recipients of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

Seventeen-year-old Alex Brown epitomized the traditional All-American girl: beautiful, smart, vivacious and beloved by everyone who knew her. Tragically, her dreams of a career in broadcast journalism and a life filled with so much promise were cut short. In November 2009, she was killed in a single car accident. Those left behind include Alex’s brave parents and her amazing younger sister. To ensure that no other family suffers such a heartbreaking loss, they turned their tragedy into opportunity. Today, they travel around Texas hauling Alex’s wrecked truck on their flat-bed trailer to local high schools, reminding young people of the dangers of distracted driving. Their goal is simple: they want to save lives.

The Browns will take a vacation to New York City. Meanwhile, “EM: HE” design team leader Ty Pennington and designers Paige Hemmis, Michael Moloney and Leigh Anne Tuohy, local builder Palm Harbor Homes and community volunteers will build them a real home on a stable foundation.

Please donate to help provide for additional needs for the Brown family.