When the Spece family was nominated for inclusion in the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition television show in November 2009, friends and neighbors thought they had an excellent chance. Sue Spece's three adult children live at home, and all are wheelchair-bound due to a form of muscular dystrophy called spinal muscular atrophy. The Spece home lacks adequate handicap accessibility. Simple transportation becomes an issue in the Iowa winter, as wheelchairs try to negotiate a gravel driveway with no cover from snow and rain.
When Extreme Makeover: Home Edition announced plans for an October 2011 build in Iowa, the Spece's friends and neighbors were even more hopeful.
But when it turned out that a very deserving West Union family would be featured instead, the Independence, Iowa community turned to itself for support. A new community group formed around "Building a Dream in the Country: A New Home for the Spece Family."
After 2 1/2 years of fundraising, with the help of many individuals, organizations and businesses, Sue, Josh, Jackie and Jacob moved into their new home on May 8th, 2014! The ceiling mounted lift system was installed by JVA Mobility in July of 2014. Fundraising continues with all proceeds going towards a garage that will allow the family the luxury of entering and exiting vehicles out of the rain and snow.