Fans of the show are familiar with the early morning “door knock.” But this time, that occurred not at the family’s home, but at the home of the New York Yankees: Ty Pennington made the announcement to the Lutz family of East Setauket at Yankee Stadium on the Jumbotron prior to Sunday’s Subway Series matchup.
With shocked faces and smiles from ear to ear, Kathleen Lutz, 39, and her brothers William, 25, Daniel, 23, and Timothy, 21, each whom have Down syndrome, jogged onto the field at Yankee Stadium. It was an added surprise for Timothy who was celebrating his 21st birthday.
Grace and John Lutz, a loving couple, were unable to have children when they decided to adopt. They adopted a total of 18 children over the course of their marriage including seven with Down syndrome.
The couple passed away and their daughter, Kathleen, gave up her career and decided to move back into the home to take care of six of her siblings with Down syndrome. The siblings range in age from 21 to 25 years old, and everyone agreed that putting the kids into an institution was not an option.
Soon after moving back with the family, Kathleen unexpectedly had a grand mal seizure and was diagnosed with an inoperable cancerous brain tumor. During this time, her brother John Jr. decided to move back to the home and care for his sister and the other siblings. She went through radiation and chemotherapy treatments and is now in a stable health condition. The brother and sister work as a team to care for the family.
Once they had met Yankees manager Joe Girardi along with outfielders Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner, the family as they made their way back to their seats. On Monday morning, they were sent to a Montauk hotel for the week as demolition of their home and construction of their new one begins. The Lutzes will go from having a 40-year-old ranch style home to a brand new home in just four days. On Saturday afternoon, when more than 1,000 contractors and construction workers complete the home, Pennington will hand over the keys to the family.
According to an ABC spokeswoman, the Lutzes’ Makeover will air in September. Anyone interested in volunteering can find out more information on Alure’s Fan Page at www.alure.com