On Dec. 2, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will air our anti-bullying episode that shares the tragic story of 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover and his family. Carl took his own life this year because of the constant bullying at school, stemming from something so simple as sexual orientation. The taunting became too much to live with, and on April 6, 2009 he ended his life at home. The Walker home became a living memory of this horrific event, as the third floor is where their sweet boy took his own life. The EM:HE team of designers were able to take part and rebuild the Walker home, creating a new safe haven that met their needs and honored Carl in a positive way.
It was a particularly special show to be a part of for me. It's a message I can help tell. As an active member of the LGBT community, it's truly heart-wrenching to hear about Carl. This episode was one of the hardest and most emotional shows I have done in my nine-year run on the series. There is a scene where I hold up his clothes, which are so tiny -- it's so unfortunate to think about how much more this 11-year-old-boy had to give in life.
Our goal at EM:HE is to make a difference, and it's a blessing for me to help shed light on causes I believe in. We surprised the Walker family and took them on a dream vacation to Hollywood, where they were greeted by the Kardashians. The ladies hosted an anti-bullying rally in support of the family with other celebrities, including Demi Lovato. The family was so grateful, and I was so thankful to give my heartfelt support. When the family returned to Massachusetts, they had a wonderful new home with which to honor Carl and create new memories.
Watch Carl's sister Dominique receive a special Kardashian surprise:
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition airs Fridays at 8/7c on ABC.