How your donation to the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway is saving lives

St. Jude Dream Home

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Tickets for the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway have sold at a record pace this year… with only a fraction of tickets still available.

Seriously, if you haven’t reserved yours – NOW IS THE TIME.

For inspiration, Joy Redmond introduces us to a former St. Jude patient – who now works for the very institution that helped her kiss cancer goodbye.

If you don’t know what it’s like to hear the words “your child has cancer” just ask Ann Leatherman.

She told WMC Action News 5, “I’ve never had such pain in hearing such news. It was devastating.” Her precious Liza was diagnosed with pleuropulmonary blastoma.

To make matters worse? “They found the tumor was very large. It was 100 percent of her right thoracic cavity and it was growing.”

Ironically, Ann’s nephew had been receiving care from St. Jude, so she was already familiar with the amazing work the hospital could do.

Liza said, “That’s the absolute miracle because it had been years of research. They knew the nature of the tumors and so they were able to come up with a perfect plan."

Liza’s treatment included chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumor and to make sure the entire tumor was gone. One of Liza’s lungs was also removed.

While that procedure kicked out the cancer, Liza had another battle to face, her spine was starting to curve.

“St Jude knew that this was going to be an issue because I had that right lung removed… so by the time I was about 12 or 13, it had already started to affect my already compromised breathing.”

This meant another surgery for Liza, because it was considered an experimental procedure, insurance wouldn’t pay for it.

But when you’re a St. Jude family, they always have the cost fully covered.

Liza said, “There’s no way the hospital could do this without the support of everyone.”

The Leatherman family’s St. Jude journey is quite unique, and the woman who brought Liza into this world - she’s tougher than leather.

Not only was her firstborn child, Liza, diagnosed with cancer, she was also pregnant with her son who was born with pneumonia. She was forced to leave her toddler and newborn in ICU.

Her nephew was a St. Jude fighter for his life too!

Ann said the only source of strength was her faith. She knew Liza was in the perfect place to get better, and the miracles kept manifesting.

Bo is alive and well, her nephew recently graduated from med school. You never know, one day his and Liza’s paths just might cross again in the halls of St. Jude. Liza shared with us she’s going to nursing school in the fall.

From a 2-year-old with cancer to a now happy and healthy 29-year-old college graduate headed to help the frontline. It’s a dream this extraordinary hospital helped come true.

You can help kids at St. Jude by reserving a ticket for the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway – and if you do it in the next couple of weeks – you could win a BONUS PRIZE!

Reserve your ticket by June 5 to be eligible to win your choice of a new 2020 Honda Civic LX or new 2020 Nissan Versa 1.6 S-V, courtesy of Wolfchase Honda and Wolfchase Nissan.

Just call 1-800-224-6681 or visit dreamhome.org. These tickets will sell out - so don’t miss your chance!

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.