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St. Jude Dream Home: Young Charlotte girl rallies for her brother and St. Jude

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 6:00 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Just 10 days ago, we introduced you to six-year-old Jennings Palmer of Charlotte. He’s battled a rare form of Leukemia twice and just recently returned home from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

While he’s continuing follow-up treatments, Jennings is wasting no time when it comes to wanting to help other children at St. Jude like him. That is something that runs in his family. We spoke to Jennings and mom Lauren over zoom back in June before they left Memphis.

“When Jennings cancer returned in November, she was like, ‘I want to do something for St. Jude, for the kids at St Jude,’” said Lauren Palmer, Jennings’ mom.

Lauren is talking about Jennings’ big sister Caroline. After her brother’s first cancer diagnosis, Caroline watched mom Lauren raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer research. Taking note, she wanted to do something to help, too.

“She said I want to do an art sale,” said Lauren. “Even though there was so much going on, I love that she thought of this, and I totally was like we need to let her execute on this idea.”

Caroline rallied friends to create art gathering more than 140 pieces. This past December, she held a virtual art sale and sold everything.

Caroline rallied friends to create art gathering more than 140 pieces.
Caroline rallied friends to create art gathering more than 140 pieces.(Palmer family)

“People just rallied around her and gave large sums of money for children’s art,” said Lauren.

That total came to more than $6,000 dollars raised for St. Jude.

“It really meant a lot to see her think of that on her own, process that on her own and understand the need that these kids have these families have and want to help them,” added Lauren.

Perhaps it is the bond that runs between brother and sister. In 2018, Caroline selflessly gave her bone marrow in hopes of saving Jennings’ life. Her cells gave him 2.5 healthy years before her brother would need a second transplant when his cancer came back.

And while dad’s marrow was used this time in hopes of kicking the cancer for good, Caroline and Jennings are busy making plans with their mom for how they will help other children fighting cancer.

“When I was talking to Jennings and Caroline about chatting with you, they said, ‘When we get home we’re going to have a lemonade stand,’” said Lauren.

Jennings says they are also going to sell toys including transformers he’s collected throughout his treatment.

“My whole Transformers [collection],” said Jennings.

“What!” said Lauren, surprised at his response. She knows just how vast his collection is as Jennings received a transformer each time he had to get poked with a needle during his first round of cancer treatment.

She then smiled at her son, “OK, you’re right,” she added. “We should be generous with our things. I love your heart!”

It’s a young heart that desires to see a cure for all pediatric cancers sooner than later.

Lauren asked Jennings, “Why do we help the kids at St. Jude?”

“So they can get better,” responded Jennings quietly.

“So they can get better just like who?” asked Lauren.

“Me,” replied Jennings.

Jennings is still getting follow up treatments in Memphis and in Charlotte.

In the meantime, if Jennings and Caroline have inspired you to help the kids of St. Jude, you can buy a ticket right now to win this year’s Dream Home. This year’s Dream Home is built by Newton Custom Homes & Realty

If you reserve a ticket by July 21, you’ll be entered to win all of the prizes, including $20,000 toward a dream car courtesy of Mike Johnson’s Hickory Toyota.

The number to call is 1-800-592-1602 or go online to dreamhome.org.

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