With a daughter rehabilitating from a devastating accident, working full time, running a business, their own health issues, two young grandsons and home renovations - the Gagnons barely had time to come up for air.
In 2004 the couple's eldest daughter Deandra, now 38, was in an accident that left her with serious brain damage and reduced motor skills. Deandra and her two sons moved into Mike and Angie Gagnon's two-bedroom rancher on Chatwin Avenue in Maple Ridge.
"I work full time and [Mike] has a business, so when I come home from work that's basically when he tries to do his work plus do the renovations and fit it all in together with [Deandra's] rehabilitation," Angie said. "It just gets overwhelming when you have kids that are growing up and one that's rehabilitating."
But Stevan Mirkovich, pastor at Cornerstone Seventh Day Adventist Church, gave the struggling family the breathing room they needed by choosing them for their 2012 Extreme Makeover project.
A scaled-down version of popular home makeover shows on TV, Mirkovich's crew - thanks to donations of material and time from more than 150 businesses - completely revamped the Gagnon's home in 10 days.
"It is beyond belief - absolutely outstanding," said Angie from inside her home as the family moved back in Sunday. "It's the colours we love. It's the design we love ... you can tell it was put together with so much love and so much care - it's unbelievable."
She can finally scratch one thing off her to-do list.
"We can forget about renovating the house and work more on Deandra's recovery and the boys," said Angie. "Focus on life rather than having to focus on these big monkeys on our shoulders."
Although it was one of the crew's biggest projects yet - working at least 18 hour days for 10 days straight - "it's totally worth it," said Mirkovich.
"When people have gone through the kinds of things that the Gagnons have gone through - the pain, stress, suffering - to be able to relieve a little bit of that stress to bring a little bit of peace, a little bit of recognition that 'hey you've struggled and survived and now the community's going to recognize you for persevering,'" he said.
The cost of the renovations were about that of building a new house, which included projects the team has never done before, like heated concrete flooring and a new boiler system.
"We have the ability, we have the network, we have the energy to organize something of this magnitude, so let's do it," said Mirkovich. "There's a lot of need in our community, there's a lot of hurting families, a lot of families that need the extra support, they need to see that their community loves them, they need to see that there are businesses that are not just about money."
Mirkovich's team is always looking for families in need from across the Lower Mainland. Nomination forms can be found at cornerstonehometeam.org.
-Larissa Cahute is with The Province