Kalihi Family Home Gets Extreme Makeover - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kalihi Family Home Gets Extreme Makeover

Momi Akana Momi Akana
Dennis Phillips Dennis Phillips
Michael Moloney Michael Moloney
Paige Hemmis Paige Hemmis

By Mari-Ela David

KALIHI (KHNL)- Wednesday came the knock on the door. Thursday, their house came down. The TV hit show "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" is in Kalihi Valley right now, racing against the clock to make a family's dream come true.

Crews started their round-the-clock work Thursday morning.

This is Extreme Makeover's very first time in Hawaii. Hundreds of volunteers woke up Thursday to jump start their mission to build a better life for the Akana family.

They marched to the house to mark the beginning of a life-changing transformation for a family many say deserve it.

"It couldn't happen to anybody better," says Dennis Phillips, the Akana's neighbor.

"We're going to build a house and a recreation center for all the people of Hawaii. It's a good thing and I'm feeling the spirit of aloha!" says Michael Moloney, an interior designer for Extreme Makeover.

It's that spirit in Momi Akana that caught the attention of Extreme Makeover. Momi was a single mom, on welfare for 11 years, raising three kids who still found time to build Keiki O Ka Aina, a non-profit that offers cultural education programs for free.

"Momi, is incredible. Even though she's been having a hard time she went out and helped over 9,000 families and we saw that and we realized that they're the ones who need help this week and that's why we're here, to take care of an amazing family," says Paige Hemmis, one of Extreme Makeover's carpenters.

Momi says this makeover couldn't have come at a better time. A major flood damaged the foundation of her home in 2004. She says it was on the brink of falling into the river. Extreme Makeover should be done with the Akana project by next Wednesday.

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