Construction crews tackle changes to make progress on St. Jude Dream Home

Updated: May. 1, 2020 at 7:04 AM EDT
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WAXHAW, N.C. (WBTV) - Most everything has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, but something our team hopes to safely see through this summer is the giveaway for our St. Jude Dream Home.

Dream Home Builder Jeff Newton says while he has had to make some adjustments in recent weeks, construction on the Dream Home in Waxhaw is still moving ahead. That’s because while life looks different for all of us right now- families facing pediatric cancer need our help now more than ever.

“It’s obviously been different,” said Jeff Newton, our Dream Home Builder who also owns Newton Custom Homes and Realty. “We are doing this,” said Newton as he put a mask over his face and nose. Newton added they are also limiting the number of people who work on site.

In spite of that, a lot of physical labor has been done in the last month, but the fundraisers that help to offset the cost of the home are on hold.

“Usually by this time we’ve done a lot of promotion for this, and I even find myself kind of hesitant to put it out there as much, because there’s so much going on and there’s so many things preoccupying people’s minds,” said Newton.

However, in the midst of the uncertainty, Newton’s mind is on one thing.

“Today there’s about 500 families that will hear your child has cancer,” said Newton. “It’s not at home. It’s still happening.”

That’s why the Dream Home is still happening.

We asked Newton for a look around.

“So you have two bedrooms and two baths over here,” said Newton has he took us through one side of the 3,000 square foot Craftsman style home.

While it’s a shell right now, Newton also showed us the 2x4’s that carry messages of hope for the families and children who are treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

St. Jude Dream Home construction underway
St. Jude Dream Home construction underway(WBTV | Photo provided to WBTV)

“A lot of these were signed by the kids at Stanfield Elementary,” said Newton. WBTV was there when those Stanly County students first signed the boards before the current pandemic began. “Here’s one that says #bebrave,’’ said Newton, pointing out one of the boars. “Strong,” as he motioned to the wording on another board.

“Then we’ve got our master [bedroom] with high vaulted ceilings, and there are beams in the ceiling that will be trimmed out and look really cool,” said Newton as he lead us to the other side of the house.

Newton then showed us the master bathroom which he says will be the showstopper of the home.

“From here to there is the shower,” Newton outlined from one side of the room to the other. “You’ll have a rain head, body sprays and handhelds.”

But once again it’s the homes inner walls that will tell the story of why we will all keep fighting. Newton pointed out a 2x4 in the master bathroom that bears the reads “Blair Mills 1996-2003.”

“Blaire Mills was a young girl from Union County,” said Newton.

Jeff says Blair’s mom works for Contractors Building Supply, the contractor who will select the lighting fixtures in this year’s home, among other contributions.

“I’ve seen success stories and I’ve seen others that aren’t there yet,” said Newton. We keep doing this to hopefully get everybody 100% so that no child dies at the dawn of life as Danny used to say.”

Blair’s mom, Damara, tells us that Blair fought neuroblastoma for three and a half years. She says she credits her treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in large part for the length of time she had with her daughter.

If you want to help children like Blair and their families, your tickets for the Dream Home Giveaway will be available for reserve this July.

In the meantime, if you’d like to help offset the cost of the home by donating right now<

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