St. Jude Dream Home giving kids a fighting chance

St. Jude Dream Home giving kids a fighting chance

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The St. Jude Dream Home giveaway is back! The home is located in Monroe, NC, at Fox Hunt Estates and is valued at $350,000. WBTV's Christine Sperow tells us why this giveaway is so important in the fight against pediatric cancer.

"We got the worst news you can imagine, they told us our son had stage 4 cancer," said Debbie about her son, Carson.

"He was still unconscious on the gurney and lying there. So you're looking at him and they're telling you these facts and it's just overwhelming," said Carson's father, John, about learning the news that day.

Carson was 3-years-old when they got that devastating news. Their local hospital sent them home saying there's little they can do... so Carson's oncologist suggested St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.

"When you calm down and start rationalizing it and when we talked to St. Jude and they explained the protocol we literally packed up that night and we were here the next morning," said John.

"He has four brothers and they all said goodbye to him not knowing whether he would come back. We didn't know whether they would see him again," said Debbie.

Thanks to donations to St. Jude, the hospital has discovered breakthrough treatments for pediatric cancers, increasing the childhood survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent. For 15 months Carson went through 11 rounds of chemo, a stem cell transplant, radiation... all at NO COST to Carson's family.

Expenses are able to be paid for through fundraisers like the Dream Home giveaway in Charlotte.

"We lived in a two bedroom apartment and didn't have to pay for housing and they gave us food," said Debbie. "So basically we just had to take care of Carson we didn't have to worry about anything else."

"It's a tremendous relief. Tremendous relief," John added about families never receiving a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food.

The worry is not over though. Yes, Carson - now 12-years-old - beat neuroblastoma and has been cancer free for six and a half years. But last October he received the news there was another tumor, this time compressing his spine.

"It was hard to tell him. I think that was hard for me. But he just said you know, God healed me last time," said Debbie. "He said this time I'll be ready to tell my own story and that I'll be ready to fight."

That's the warrior spirit Carson's parents say he always had...and is going to need again on the long road ahead.

Carson is in the midst of radiation and chemo right now for this second tumor. All the reason why your involvement in the St. Jude Dream Home giveaway is so critical. Watch WBTV News This Morning at 6 a.m. on Thursday, July 21. That's when the first tickets go on sale to win the St. Jude Dream Home!

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