CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. We're highlighting a child patient at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital whose family talks about how your support of WBTV's St. Jude Dream Home campaign has been a lifeline for their daughter.
It's not always patients, their families, and doctors you see walking the halls of St. Jude on a day-to-day basis. Celebrities sometimes stop in hoping to bring a smile to kids' faces. The day we met St. Jude patient Isabelle, she just finished meeting actress Drew Barrymore at St. Jude for the first time.
"It took a minute and when she saw her she was like 'THAT'S HER? THAT'S HER?,'" says Isabelle's mom. "Then she was excited."
That smile and excitement is welcome to see considering Isabelle's fight with pediatric cancer. In the summer of 2016 a mass was discovered in her left calf. The diagnosis would be ewing sarcoma.
"It had metastasized from her calf to other parts of her body, to her groin, into her lungs. We were devastated. It was the absolute worst news that her daddy and I could have ever heard," says Isabelle's mom.
Their lives changed. They left their home to spend the next several months at St. Jude to get life-saving treatment. St. Jude's support goes beyond not charging for medical care. The hospital also provides housing so families can stay close to their children during treatment.
"They really took care of us here. They even included my other daughter who is 5 years old in all the different events. And Isabelle, she would always say 'is there an event going on??,' that always kept her happy kept her in good spirits."
When we can say $1.15 million was raised through your involvement in the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, these are the lives your donations impact. After nine months of treatment, Isabelle is now in maintenance and hoping to get back to being healthy again.
"She likes to dance," says Isabelle's mom. "No I don't," Isabelle rebuts. "I like basketball and running."
"So you think her life is saved because ?," WBTV reporter Christine Sperow asks. "Because of everything they have done here for her. Everything they have done for us overall. No doubt," says Isabelle's mom in agreement.
ALERT: OPEN HOUSE! Mark your calendars. We're giving away the St. Jude Dream Home LIVE on WBTV on October 12 at 7 p.m. Every weekend leading up to that point the Dream Home will open its doors so you can tour the home in Mint Hill for yourself. Weekend Open Houses start this Saturday from 9-5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
At the Open House you can sign up for a $10,000 dollar furniture shopping spree!