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St. Jude Children`s Research Hospital survival mission has St. Louis connection

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- Where there is hope there is survival. That hope is what makes St. Jude Children`s Research Hospital unique.

A St. Louis Nuclear Pharmacist has a fifty year connection to the hospital where the mission is to cure childhood disease and save lives. Dr. Fred Gattas Jr. knows the mission well. And he speaks passionately about the work being done at the hospital. “You have the clinicians treating the patients. And you have the researchers doing the research on those diseases. So you have this...this collaborative effort that`s really, unseen, anywhere else. “

This approach is extremely successful. When St. Jude opened their doors, the cure rate for childhood cancer was 4%. But now the cure rate for some cancers is 90%.

Dr. Gattas says the work that’s done at St. Jude, doesn’t stay there. “They publish everything they do. They share everything they do. And then it`s up to the rest of the world, to start implanting it at their sites.” Families find that it is a special place. They pay nothing for treatment, travel, housing or food. Donors keep the hospital doors open. A major fundraiser is the annual dream home giveaway. One hundred dollars will reserve your ticket for the drawing.

The St. Louis Dream Home is located in O'Fallon, Missouri and it was built and furnished by donors. Dr. Gattas says the founder Danny Thomas wanted the facility to be cost free for families and cutting edge in treatment and research. “The hospital itself is one of those things, its really too good to be true. But its true. It`s very personal, It`s deeper than just a business. It`s something that people take to heart. And it`s passed through the generations.”

Volunteering and supporting the hospital is a family tradition. Fred's father and grandfather were board members and friends of Danny Thomas.

“When Danny Thomas would come to my grandfather`s home, I just hugged and kissed him, thinking he was just some uncle from somewhere. that I had to hug and kiss before I played with my other cousins. Today this endeavor is just a lot of people donating a little amount of money that really make this hospital work. We call it, the people`s hospital.”

If you want to reserve a ticket for the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway visit dreamhome.org for more information.

The last tour of the house is this weekend and tickets are going fast!

A winner will be drawn on Thursday, September 1st.

The St. Jude Dream Home is open to tour every Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 5 p.m. through August 28th.