Dream Home Giveaway: Former St. Jude patients talk about the life-saving hospital

How Dream Homes help continue the mission of St. Jude
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 7:06 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - For 60 years, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has been working to not only treat childhood cancer but defeat it all together.

WKYT is teaming up with St. Jude for their dream home give away, and for $100 you could win a new home.

In June WKYT’s Amber Philpott traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to visit with St. Jude and to learn more about a facility instilling hope in families dealing with the toughest of situations.

It is a house being built with purpose, and a chance to help a facility hundreds of miles away.

The soon to be 2,600 square foot home under construction in the Home Place subdivision off Polo Club Boulevard in Hamburg is the eighth St. Jude Dream Home from builder DB Homes.

With every wall raised and window installed, it’s what the house represents that sets it apart.

It’s a home with a purpose for a place that people like Bess Atkinson hold dear.

“And I used to say I’m homesick for Memphis, I’m homesick for St. Jude, because it is a home, it’s family,” said Atkinson.

Atkinson can’t say enough good things about St. Jude. She was a patient there in the 90s, after noticing her clavicle was enlarged when she was 10 years old.

“That’s when I was diagnosed in January 1994 with Myxoid angioblastoma, which is tumors inside blood vessels inside the bone and I’m 1 and 10 cases all over the world,” said Atkinson.

Atkinson and her family could have received treatment up north where they lived, but instead they came to St. Jude and now at 39 years old, owes her life to the hospital.

“We found out later on after I came down to St. Jude and went through treatment that I had over 30 tumors all over my body. So, if it wasn’t for St. Jude, I probably would not be here to talk about it to this day or I would be in a wheelchair and not be able to live my life to fullest now,” said Atkinson.

“The mission here at St. Jude is about treating and ending childhood cancer, but it’s also about inspiring patients and it’s something that goes with them long after they leave here,” said Amber Philpott.

Many times former patients like Atkinson and others find their way back to St. Jude, not for treatment, but instead to work and give others like them hope.

Emily Hines’ life was saved at St. Jude, to her it was only fitting she return here to work and help spread the mission.

“I get to tell stories and that’s my favorite thing, like I’m sitting here with you today telling my story, but the best thing about my job is that I get to make sure other patients have their stories heard too because I think we are all incredibly unique,” said Hines.

Every day there is life-saving work being done within the walls of St. Jude and it’s why the walls of this dream home in Lexington are so important.

With every dollar raised, this house with a purpose helps to continue the mission of a hospital prescribing hope daily.

“It’s really hard to find heroes nowadays, St. Jude is always my hero I could always look at them and see a hero in St. Jude,” said Atkinson.

The drawing for the Lexington dream home is October 13, 2022, and we will have updates on the house over the next several weeks.

The earlier you buy your ticket the more prizes you are eligible for.

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