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Monday, April 6, 2009

The Nickless Family (Re-aired)

Tim Nickless was a nurse working in Critical Intensive Care Unit of a Lansing, MI. He also taught Advanced Cardiac Life Support at Lansing Community College. Tim contracted Hepatitis C, which he battled for seven years. Tim passed away January 18, 2008 leaving a wife, Arlene and three sons: Aaron (age 11), Noah (age 9), Andrew (age 7).

Arlene and Tim lived in a 148 year old home that Tim was restoring, but it was in really bad condition. Tim told Arlene that if anything happened to him, “Let go of the house, it’ll take you down.” But they were stuck. Arlene Nickless couldn’t sell the house for what they had invested in it.

Tim had a workshop in the basement of the house, and he made beautiful hand-turned bowls, and worked on the house. He was teaching his sons to make things with the tools, and they were continuing on after his death.

There is a place that the boys could go, called “Ellie’s Place” that helps the boys with their grief. Michael and Paige went there and asked the kids to help them out on Noah’s room.

I could have used a place like Ellie’s Place when my dad died. I was 9 years old, like Noah, when my dad passed away from lung cancer. I had a really hard time working through the grief. It would have nice to have had other kids to talk to who had gone through something similar. I remember the time another child asked me: “What’s it like not to have a dad?” I responded: “What’s it like to have one?”

Design Team
- Ty Pennington created a unique master bedroom for Arlene Nickless (mom) that included a headboard with vases of yellow roses (very special to Arlene because Tim used to give her rose bushes) and a special master bed with hand-turned legs.

- Paige Hemmis created an electronics room with a “secret” room for Aaron Nickless (age 11)

- Michael Maloney- created building blocks room with a star-ship bed for Noah Nickless (age 9.) It was based on an idea from Noah himself.

- Rib Hillis created an Airplane room for Andrew Nickless (age 7) which had a handcrafted bed made to look like a propeller airplane.

Ed Sanders - Finished the clubhouse that Tim Nickless had started. He included a piece of wood that Tim had written on: “Aaron, Noah, Andrew I love you, Dad” Ed made it into a plaque for the clubhouse. The really neat thing was that it was a complete surprise to the boys. They had never seen it before.

The Nickless family was sent on a vacation to DisneyWorld. Pretty cool!

Lansing Community College and University of Michigan gave the Nickless boys a grant for a total of four years of college.

They were given a brand new 2009 Ford Flex seven passenger vehicle that had a special detailing of airplanes on the roof.
Their brand new garage was a mixture of old and new. Old tools from Tim, and brand new Craftsman tools from Sears

The grand finale was the airplane that flew overhead and read: “Welcome Home Nickless Family!” That was so cool.

This episode originally aired in November of 2008.

Next week is the Kadzis Family (a 2-hour special!)

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