The fašade of the light blue and brick house on Harding Road looks similar to the neighboring houses until one catches sight of the large banner hanging across the house in Eastmoor. It reads, "EMO welcomes home the B-Team! We love you!"

The fašade of the light blue and brick house on Harding Road looks similar to the neighboring houses until one catches sight of the large banner hanging across the house in Eastmoor. It reads, "EMO welcomes home the B-Team! We love you!"

Not every family gets such a warm welcome to the neighborhood, but the Barlay family's return to their former home was something to be celebrated for many of their neighbors.

The Barlay family belongs to the St. Catharine Parish on Gould Road. They moved back into the home last week after spending a year in Bowling Green, Ky., where Doug Barlay was transferred for work.

Doug, who lived there for about a year before the rest of his family joined him, became ill and was eventually diagnosed last October with a terminal form of lung cancer. At the same time, their family home in Eastmoor was on the market but didn't sell.

After renting the home for a year, Doug, his wife, Sheri, and their four children arrived in Columbus on Monday, Aug. 18, to a front yard filled with 200 friends and family members.

Inside their home, they found new carpeting, furniture, windows and insulation, a finished basement, a new porch and a renovated room for Doug to sleep in on the first floor. All of the work was done with the help of donations and volunteers.

Sheri Barlay said when she found out the family was moving back to Columbus, she asked a friend to have the inside of the house painted.

"I asked a friend of ours who has a home improvement business if they could paint the interior for me," she said. "I asked them to just make it as clean as possible."

But the Barlays' friends and family members did more than that. The house got an extreme makeover.

"It was better than anything I could have ever wished for," she said. "My second thought was how my girlfriends had lied to me for two weeks."

She said her family was so grateful for the improvements to the home -- especially Doug, who worried about the family's future well-being.

"We bought the worst house on the best street with the intention of remaking it as we could," she said about their home. "We put a new roof on, but he was feeling like I wouldn't be able to afford the gas bill because we didn't have the insulation."

Brett Shepherd, Sheri Barlay's friend and neighbor on Harding Road, helped out with the home improvement project.

"It started out as a small project and it kind of just snowballed from there," she said. "They realized there was a leak in the roof so they put a new roof on; there was mold in the insulation and they ended up putting new drywall up. The house needed a lot of love."

She said the number of people who have stepped forward to help the family is astounding.

"There are probably 200 people within our community who are doing something somehow, some way," Shepherd said. "There are some ladies that don't even know her that donated $1,000."

Matt Palmer, also a member of St. Catharine's, said the church has been helpful with the project by advertising it during services and in the weekly newsletter.

"It's such a neat story," Palmer said.

Now that Doug, Sheri, Victoria, Rebecca, Koen and Katharine Barlay are settled in the familiar but updated home, Sheri said Doug is starting a clinical trial at the James Cancer Hospital on Sept. 4.

"Our 15th anniversary is Aug. 28, and we are going to spend that entire evening lighting up my husband with the MRI machine and chest X-ray," she said.

For now, the Barlays said they are thanking their church, friends and family members for the support and love shown during a difficult time.

"My church is just the legs that we stand on," Sheri said. "It's not by us that things happen."