Local St Jude patient's dad helps build this year's Dream Home

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - In less than a week, WLOX will be hosting the St Jude telethon, and give you a chance to win a $425,000 dream home at the Village of Tradition. Of course, the money made during the dream home giveaway, goes to a very worthy cause.

St Jude Children's research hospital in Memphis treats children with life threatening illnesses from around the world, with no out of pocket costs for the families. Many of those patients are from South Mississippi. And this year, one patient's dad played a big part in the construction.

Anthony Masters recently took his daughter, Talia Masters, to tour the dream home for the very first time. Masters enjoys showing it off, in part because he and his son did the plumbing work for the home. The work is especially meaningful to Anthony because his daughter was treated for leukemia at St Jude's five years ago.

"They saved my daughter's life so I wanted to give back in any way I can. I feel honored to be able to do it."

Work on the house has been a labor of love on so many levels for Anthony. He remembers all too well the day his daughter was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 14.

"They told me she had leukemia and it crushed me. I didn't know what to do I was scared, I cried for hours on end." He added, "I never thought in a million years something like this would happen and when it did, I thought, 'What do I do?'"

That's when St. Jude stepped in to help.

"They took her by ambulance and started treatments right away. It was great that they helped. They paid for everything for us to go up there. They even covered housing and food and all, for her mother and grandmother to stay with her."

Talia's older brother remembers those difficult months of treatment five years ago, and is thankful for the care his sister received at St. Jude.

"It's amazing the things they did for her; the things they do for other kids, too. It's beautiful, you know? Just amazing."

Nineteen-year-old Talia was thrilled to learn her Dad and brother would play a part in the construction of the St Jude dream home. She says St Jude saved her life, and she hopes people will support the dream home fundraiser, to help the hospital continue to save even more lives.

"I think it's very important because it goes into the charity that goes into the hospital. That's what provides the medical care to save other children's lives. It's really a necessity."

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