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2021 St. Jude Dream Home dedicated to young Charlotte boy who’s fought cancer twice

Dream Home Builder Jeff Newton is dedicating this year’s home to Jennings Palmer.
Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 6:45 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - This year’s St. Jude Dream Home has an extra special meaning for one boy. Dream Home Builder Jeff Newton is dedicating this year’s home to six-year-old Jennings Palmer of Charlotte.

WBTV recently shared a video of Jennings and his dad arriving back home to cheering family and friends after spending more than six months being treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

At just 6 years old, Jennings Palmer has bravely fought a rare form of Leukemia called Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) twice. He’s undergone numerous chemotherapy treatments and two bone marrow transplants.

We spoke with Jennings and mom Lauren over zoom in early June while they were in Memphis waiting to find out if his latest treatments and second bone marrow transplant were successful in fighting his AML.

Jennings told us he was feeling “good” at the time.

2021 St. Jude Dream Home dedicated to young Charlotte boy who’s fought cancer twice
2021 St. Jude Dream Home dedicated to young Charlotte boy who’s fought cancer twice(Lauren Palmer | Lauren Palmer)

Just three years ago, Jennings’s older sister Caroline helped save his life by donating her bone marrow, but when his cancer unexpectedly came back this past November, Lauren says doctors needed a different approach.

“Caroline’s cells were amazing, and they gave him two and a half healthy years,” said Lauren. “They were a perfect match, and that’s what they want to try first because that’s the easiest transplant on the body,” she added. “But the cancer found a way around and so for this transplant we just needed something stronger and a stronger regiment.”

As a half-match potential bone marrow donor, Jennings’ dad Joel fit that bill.

“So theoretically the cancer and the donor, the donor [cell] is going to attack the cancer theoretically, hopefully right? That’s the goal,” explaining Lauren.

Jennings’s treatment at St. Jude took six months this second time around. If you want to know how much he’s endured in his young life, just take a look at his Transformers collection.

“His first diagnosis when he was getting a lot of “pokes” when he had gotten home, we would get him one everything time he had to have a poke,” explained Lauren as she showed a box filled with dozens and dozens of transformers.

In fact, Jennings has had so many pokes Lauren says it got hard to find ones he didn’t already have. While the Palmers are all too acquainted with the horrors of pediatric cancer, they’ll point you instead to those who are constantly working toward a cure.

Like the doctors and nurses at St. Jude who helped make his homecoming celebration possible for a second time.

“They’ve just really invested in their mission of trying to find cures and save children and they just pour every dollar that’s given to them into that mission and it’s making strides,” said dad Joel. “We’ve seen it twice now, unfortunately, with our son, but he’s here today three years later and he’s cancer-free so if it wasn’t for them- 20, 30, 40 years ago, we’d be in a different situation for sure,” he added.

“They spare no expense and do whatever they have to do that’s the best for the child and their family so if you have a chance to support St. Jude do it,” said Lauren.

Now that Jennings is home, he’ll be going in for regular checkups to make sure his cancer stays in remission.

In the meantime, you will have that chance to support St. Jude by purchasing a ticket for the Dream Home starting next Thursday, July 15th. Tune in on WBTV This Morning as we’ll give you the number to call or the website to get your ticket online.

All of the proceeds will benefit the children and families treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital so they never have to pay for treatment, travel, housing, or food.

The 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom home with numerous bonus features is located in the new Sabella Estates neighborhood off Sincerity Road in Monroe.

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