Joanna Gaines is the design master-mind behind HGTV’s Fixer-Upper. She and her husband, Chip, pair up to help their clients take the worst houses in the best neighborhoods and transform them into dream homes.
Instagram: Joanna Gaines
Each week, they show their clients three homes that are less-than desirable to live in, and Joanna casts vision for removing walls, adding breakfast nooks and restoring hardwood floors. Then Chip goes over the cost of each house and the renovation budget, which makes every viewer question why they haven’t moved to Waco, Texas, already. (A house renovated by Chip and JoJo and turned into a dream-home, with an all-in budget of $150,000? Sign us up!).
Of course, as any Fixer Upper lover knows, it’s all about shiplap, demo-day and Jesus for the Gaines family.
Instagram: Joanna Gaines
This week’s episode was particularly special because Chip and Joanna were contacted by Cleveland Browns quarterback, Robert Griffin III, and his foundation Family of 3.
Griffon’s organization, Family of 3, is a nonprofit foundation that strives to discover, design and support programs that benefit struggling military families, underprivileged youth and the victims of domestic violence.
Family of 3 discovered that local Vietnam veteran Bill Graham needed some serious help with his home in Waco, Texas. RGIII knew just the people to call.
Bill and his wife, Sherry, have been married for 45 years. They lived in a small two-bedroom, one-bath house that had an add-on laundry room. The whole thing needed a LOT of work.
Chip and JoJo couldn’t wait to honor Bill and Sherry for their sacrifice and service.
Viewers watched as the Magnolia team got to work and completely transformed the Graham’s house into a larger, more functional living space for the sweet older couple.
They were so excited to finally have space for their grandkids and family members to come over. Sherry did not get around very well when Chip and Joanna were walking them through their new house, but she was completely ecstatic about her new home.
Bill said Sherry took claim of the home as soon as they were handed the keys. “She told everybody she saw, ‘[You] got to see my house’; it wasn’t my house, it was [Sherry’s] house.”
Unfortunately, she was only able to enjoy it for a few months.
The 69-year-old was believed to be in remission for lung cancer, when she was quickly hospitalized again.
“She had lung cancer and they cured the lung cancer and they thought she was cancer-free,” Bill explained.
Sadly, Bill was told that his loving wife was not expected to make it much longer.
“But, they did the last test and it was in her back and her liver. And the doctor was up-front. He gave her six months and she lasted two.
When she got out of the hospital for the last time, she said, ‘Don’t ever take me back, right here is where I want to be.'”
Sherry lived in her new home for just a short time before she passed on October 31, 2016. She never lived to see her episode of Fixer Upper air.
Bill says he’s grateful that he was able to experience that blessing with his wife before she was taken. “It meant everything to her.”
Their son couldn’t have agreed more, saying:
“For the short time mom was here, you wouldn’t believe the difference it made. She was on a walker, so the hallways and the doors were wider and that made it a lot easier for her.
What it meant to me was finally somebody saw that a deserving person got something that they deserved.”
Although Bill’s other half is no longer here with him, he finds comfort in his new home, knowing how much his sweet wife adored it, and that her spirit will live there with him for the rest of his days.