Family of former St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital patient tours St. Jude’s Dream Home
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The Dream Home campaign for St. Jude Children’s Hospital is entering the home stretch, and the coast has shown continuous support for children battling cancer as just 230 tickets remain.
Before it ends, we show you the heart behind the campaign and introduce you to one of the families who benefits from the generous donations.
“Come on y’all, I’ll show you the master bedroom,” said Jace Mathews.
Jace checked out what every room had to offer and hid in every nook and cranny he could find. However, he wasn’t always able to move around so freely. Just a few years ago, Jace’s parents were told he may never walk again.
“He was 5 months when he was diagnosed with scoliosis, and through the next couple of months, it was just your child screaming in pain, but you didn’t understand why because they’re an infant,” said Jace’s mother, Jamie. “What could have been the problem?”
“Finding out he had cancer, the first day and him going paralyzed as well . . . him having a normal life was my big concern,” said Jimmy, Jace’s father.
At 7 months old, Jace was undergoing chemotherapy treatments at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The hair he was born with, now falling out into the hands of his parents who were worried what would happen to their little boy.
“It was very hard as a parent to see your child go through that,” said Jamie. “When he got diagnosed, to know the pain he was in.”
A spinal tumor may have taken away some of the 7-year-old’s mobility, but it won’t steal his spirit.
“I want to be an astronaut, YouTuber, game maker,” Jace said.
Not only is Jace walking and running with ease, but he’s also taking boxing and jiu-jitsu lessons, becoming an inspiration to his big sister and parents.
“I was so surprised to see baby pictures of him just like a year ago and he wasn’t even walking,” said Jace’s sister Joylynn. “Now that he’s walking, it’s just a shock. I’m so happy.”
“We called it the ‘Jace Face’ — he was always smiling,” said Jimmy. “He got us through it. I honestly feel like if it wouldn’t have been for St. Jude, Jace wouldn’t have made it.”
“The community they have built for parents is priceless,” said Jamie. “Also, the research they do is priceless and saves countless lives, so it really is buying a ticket for a house and all the prizes that come along with it, but also you’re saving families’ lives and children’s lives and saving parents from a lot of pain.”
For tickets, call 800-206-2263 or visit https://www.stjude.org/give/dream-home/biloxi.html.
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