ABC 13 visits St Jude in Memphis

    St Jude Children's Research Hospital campus (Photo: Danner Evans).

    Memphis, Tn. (WSET) - Finding cures, saving children --that's the mission of St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.

    For the very first time in our area ABC 13 is partnering with St Jude to build a dream home that will raise money to help those sick children and their families.

    We took you to the ground breaking at Ashley Plantation in Daleville.

    Right now, MW Dunbar Construction is busy turning that lot into a home that we will raffle off in the months to come.

    But to really understand the gravity of what St Jude does, and why we are so passionate about bringing the Dream Home to our area, ABC 13 went to Memphis, Tennessee to visit the hospital.

    Just walking down the halls of St Jude Children's Research Hospital -- it's hard to miss the stories of countless children who are alive today because of what happens here.

    But the children who are patients really bring the magic to life.

    Andrea’s 4 year old son Abraham has been treated at St Jude for months for medulloblastoma.

    "It's not what you would think it would be,” Andrea explained. “I know some kids will have bad days. There are tough days. But they do everything they can to enjoy being here and have fun."

    It’s the people who dedicated their live to helping sick children that make this not a hospital, but a home away from home for families like Abraham’s.

    Kelsee Dyer is a nurse in the intensive care unit.

    "Walking through the hall way you might see kids, little bald-headed kids in masks riding a bike down the hall way but they are as happy as can be," Dyer said.

    Kim Spencer Foster has been a working in the blood donation center at St Jude for 20 years.

    “I have enjoyed every bit of it," Spencer-Foster said. “I've gotten to see children grow up here. Children come back to see me. But just being able to be a part of the mission.”

    Families never receive a bill from St Jude for treatment, travel, lodging or food. That’s because they believe families should be focused on saving their child's life.

    “This is the most stressful thing I've ever had to go through with him and just having your house, somewhere to stay,” Andrea said. “You don't have to think about it. It's huge.”

    After 7 months of radiation and chemo -- Abraham's stay is almost over.

    “This Friday is his final dose of chemo,” Andrea said.

    As they prepare for life again in Iowa -- they are forever grateful for the care they ALL received at St Jude.

    “Just that I know I don't think we would have gotten the level of care that we are getting here if we weren't at St Jude,” Andrea said. “Just everything they do for the families is incredible. "

    Because of the research done here at St Jude the overall cancer survivor rate for children has gone from 20% when the hospital opened in 1962 to over 80% today.

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