IT has been three months since their surprise house renovation but the HoyPoy family still wake up every day in awe.
From a dated and dark 1970s house, their Kingsley home was transformed in just a few days to a modern place to accommodate Sallie, Ryan and their four daughters.
Ahead of tomorrow night’s 7.30pm screening of Matt and Kim To The Rescue on Channel 9, Sallie and Ryan looked back on the whirlwind journey.
“It was a big surprise. We found out about four or five people had nominated us for the show. We were blown away; we just thought so many people out there need help and we didn’t feel any different to anyone else,” Sallie said.
It has not been an easy road for the HoyPoy family.
Six years ago, Sallie was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She underwent treatment, including a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, and was eventually given the all clear.
However, a few years later it returned and spread to her bones.
She had stage four breast cancer.
Then, just before Christmas last year their eldest daughter Zoe, who was 14 at the time, was taken to hospital with abdominal pain.
She was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer that had spread to her ovaries and colon.
“We just take it one day at a time. We just keep positive and focus on every day,” Sallie said.
The couple said having the house renovated changed their lives.
“Before, we had cupboard doors falling off and the ceiling was falling down,” Ryan said.
“We used to worry about money and how we would pay for chemo and fix the kitchen.
“You couldn’t just replace one cupboard door at a time so we were trying to put money aside for that.”
Sallie said it felt like “a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders”.
“I used to walk in and think I’ve got to do this and I’ve got to do that but now we don’t have to; we can relax and we can invite friends over,” she said.
“I still wake up every day and think wow.
“We thought if they could just give it a coat of paint and clean up the front yard that would be great.
“It was beyond anything we could have imagined.”
Ryan said he sometimes feels like he is living in a hotel.
“The house was built in ’78 so it had the yellow bench tops and yellow bottle glass and now there’s a double sink and huge baths and granite bench tops,” he said.
“It feels better coming home now; it’s nice being in the house.”
The couple said they were looking forward to seeing the show.
“It will be weird seeing the building side of it,” Sallie said.
“We’ve actually volunteered to be part of the next one.
“We want to see the other side and we want to give back.”
Tomorrow night’s episode will also feature Lisa Wilkinson, Shane Crawford, Adam Gilchrist and Mark LeCras along with Emmy Kubainski, Michael Thomson and Scherri-Lee Biggs.
As ambassador for the McGrath Foundation, Gilchrest even organised a game of street cricket and encouraged the tradespeople to wear pink for breast cancer awareness.
It has been dubbed Matt and Kim’s most ambitious renovation yet.