CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - This Thursday, July 20, you have the chance to get the first tickets to win the St. Jude Dream Home. We talk about this campaign raising money to help children fight pediatric at St. Jude. Sadly, I learned one St. Jude patient we highlighted in last year's campaign recently passed away. Kenlie was only 10.
We got to meet Kenlie for the first time in 2016. It was obvious the effects cancer and her treatments had on her body…and not just her hair loss.
"It was very difficult," says Kenlie's mom, Jennifer, during the 2016 interview with WBTV about the decision to amputate Kenlie's left leg above the knee. "The thought of doing that when she was first diagnosed…it was the worst imaginable thing that could happen to us as a family, to Kenlie."
Kenlie was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma in her knee. The decision to amputate was because the cancer kept spreading.
"Kenlie has probably had at least 10 surgeries here (at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital). At least 10," Jennifer says.
Kenlie has dealt with pediatric cancer since she was a baby. So most of her life, up until death, was spent as a St. Jude patient.
What I remember most though is how her bubbly personality and bright smile overshadowed all of that. You can imagine our surprise receiving this email from Kenlie's family, which read: "Just thought you would like to know after doing such a touching story last fall. Kenlie, died peacefully at 7pm July 13th at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in her hometown of Baton Rouge."
While there have been significant improvements in St. Jude's efforts to increase the cancer survival rate in kids to 90%, there is still that small percentage of children who won't be able to say they're a survivor.
Money you help raise in the Dream Home giveaway will bring hope that "one day" there will be a cure for this.
We're asking you to help us achieve that goal of raising more than a million dollars to help St. Jude families and reserve your ticket to win the Dream Home, first thing tomorrow morning.
Our thoughts go out to Kenlie's family and friends.
- Christine Sperow