Erinne Williams, middle school student with spinal muscular atrophy, hopes to catch attention of 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition'

By Jessica Nunez |

February 15, 2010, 2:25PM

Before Canton Township resident Erinne Williams was 1 year old, doctors were counting down the days she had left to live.
Erinne Williams,12, has spinal muscular atrophy and is hoping to get her story recognized by the ABC show 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' to make her house more wheelchair-friendly.

She was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a disease similar to Lou Gehrig's disease that appears in young children and slowly breaks down the brain's ability to control muscles.

According to Erinne's Web site, her doctors said she would likely not last through her 8th birthday.

Now Erinne is 12 years old and a student at East Middle School in Plymouth, where she excels at academics, and plays wheelchair soccer and hockey -- and hopes one day to be a veterinarian.

But for now, daily life is increasingly difficult for Erinne, whose wheelchair doesn't fit down the narrow hallways of her family's apartment.

Erinne, who is 5'9 and weighs about 110 pounds, gets from room to room in the apartment only when her mother, Suzanne, carries her -- something that is getting harder as Erinne continues to grow.

In order to help alleviate some of the daily struggles, Erinne and Suzanne have set their sights on getting the attention of the ABC reality show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

In September, The Detroit News wrote a story about the family's hope for a new house. Suzanne, who lost her job at Ford Motor Company in 2007 and is still unemployed, said she would be ready to buy a foreclosed house or cheap property if "Extreme Makeover" signed on to do the special renovations.

According to local ABC affiliate WXYZ, Erinne's classmates at East Middle School held a pep rally for Erinne this month that they recorded and will send to "Extreme Makeover."

For now, anyone can keep tabs on Erinne's story through the blog Suzanne keeps at