Gold medalist provides hope for Target House patients

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Two-time Olympic gold medalist and professional snowboarder Shaun White is making an impact on children here in Memphis.

White's contribution to the Target House is providing hope for patients like Julia Velasco, who is suffering from leukemia.

"It helps me with my treatment I'm going through, because he donates his money to St. Jude and also I can hang out in this room," Velasco said.

White helped designed a Native American, 70's rock-and-roll themed room at the Target House called the Shaun White Great Room.  

"It's a place of goodness," White said in a recent interview with NBC. "It's a place where, you know, actual miracles happen every day."

Equipped with custom made animal furniture, games, flat screen tv's and this foosball table, it's a place where the residents can come together and have fun.  

"It's probably the room with the most fun in the house," patient Hunter Hoxworth said. "I like it because of the Xbox and stuff."

Target House serves as a temporary home-away-from home to more than 1,300 families from around the world.  It provides free housing to families of children receiving treatment at St. Jude.

"I've actually had some heart issues when I was younger, some defects of the heart," White said. "And I actually stayed in a similar facility like this.  So it was cool to have somewhat of a full circle like that."

And for many of the kids and their families, White's support helps bring inspiration and hope.

The Shaun White Great Room was part of an extensive room renovation made in honor of the Target House's 10th anniversary.

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