CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – We’re officially 10 days away from when you can get your ticket to win this year’s St. Jude Dream Home, currently under construction in Monroe.
Dream Home Builder Jeff Newton dedicates the house to six-year-old Jennings Palmer from Charlotte this year.
WBTV recently shared a video of Jennings and his father coming home to cheer family and friends after being treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for more than six months.
At just 6 years old, Jennings Palmer has twice bravely fought a rare form of leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia (AML). He has undergone numerous chemotherapy treatments and two bone marrow transplants.
We spoke to Jennings and mom Lauren about Zoom in early June while they waited in Memphis to find out if his latest treatments and second bone marrow transplant were successful in fighting his AML.
Jennings told us he felt “good” at the time.
2021 St. Jude Dream Home dedicated to young Charlotte boy who twice battled cancer (Lauren Palmer | Lauren Palmer)
Just three years ago, Jenning’s older sister Caroline helped save his life by donating her bone marrow, but when his cancer came back unexpectedly last November, Lauren said doctors needed a different approach.
“Caroline’s cells were great, and they gave him two and a half healthy years,” Lauren said. “They were a perfect match, and that’s what they want to try first, because that’s the easiest transplant on the body,” she added. “But the cancer found a way out and so for this transplant we just needed something stronger and a stronger regiment.”
As a potential half-match bone marrow donor, Jennings’ father Joel fit that bill.
“So theoretically the cancer and the donor, the donor [cell] is the cancer theoretically going to attack, hopefully right? That’s the goal,” explains Lauren.
Jenning’s treatment at St. Jude lasted six months this second time. If you want to know how much he endured in his young life, take a look at his Transformers collection.
“His first diagnosis when he got a lot of ‘prodding’ when he got home, we’d give him everything once if he needed a poke,” Lauren explained, showing a box filled with dozens and dozens of transformers.
In fact, Jennings has had so much prodding that Lauren says it became difficult to find one he didn’t already have. Although the Palmers are all too familiar with the horrors of childhood cancer, they will instead point you to those who are constantly working for a cure.
Like the doctors and nurses in St. Jude who helped make his return home a second time.
“They’ve just really invested in their mission to find cures and save children and they’re putting every dollar they get into that mission and it’s making progress,” said Father Joel. “Unfortunately we’ve seen it twice now with our son, but he’s here today three years later and he’s cancer free, so if they weren’t there 20, 30, 40 years ago we would be in a different situation. situation for sure,” he added.
“They spare no expense and do what they have to do, which is best for the child and their family, so if you have the opportunity to support St. Jude, do it,” Lauren said.
Now that Jennings is home, he will visit regularly to make sure his cancer remains in remission.
In the meantime, you have that chance to support St. Jude by purchasing a ticket to the Dream Home starting next Thursday, July 15. Tune in to WBTV This Morning as we’ll give you the number to call or the website to get your ticket online.
All proceeds benefit the children and families treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital so they never have to pay for treatment, travel, housing or food.
The 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home with tons of bonus features is located in the new Sabella Estates neighborhood along Sincerity Road in Monroe.
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