CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There was a time when a child diagnosed with cancer was basically given a death sentence: The survival rate was less than 20%. That number has changed drastically since the opening of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in 1962.
If you're wondering why we're asking you to get involved in the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway when tickets go on sale this Thursday - you're helping a child in the Carolinas and elsewhere have the chance at a full life they deserve.
You may recognize the logo or have heard of St. Jude. Its beginnings are the brainchild of a then-struggling entertainer, Danny Thomas, who envisioned a hospital that would treat sick children regardless of race, religion, or color.
Today, St. Jude has helped countless families over the decades: Breakthrough discoveries, research, and treatment done right at the hospital have increased the childhood cancer survival rate from about 20% to more than 80%. St. Jude hopes to raise that number to more than 90%.
"Of course St. Jude is never going to stop until we've completely cured childhood cancer. Hopefully that will be sooner than later," says Dr. Erik Karlsson, Staff Scientist in the Department of Infectious Diseases at St. Jude and also a North Carolina native.
Ellis, from Charlotte, is an example of the patients you will be helping when you reserve tickets to win the St. Jude Dream Home. We've shared his story before. He was diagnosed with cancer of the blood in 2015.
His parents will tell you he's alive today because of St. Jude. They're looking forward to his final treatment in September 2018.
Which brings us to another number: ZERO. That's a family's out-of-pocket costs when their child is treated at St. Jude. Money you help raise in the Dream Home giveaway means no family receives a bill for treatment. Families in the Carolinas and elsewhere can focus on their child getting better.
Mark your calendars. Tickets go on sale starting THIS Thursday, July 20!
When you buy them early you'll also be eligible to win a new car, a Ford or Toyota of your choice, valued at up to $20,000 dollars, from Sonic Automotive.
For more details on how to get involved, visit wbtv.com/dreamhome.