Former St. Jude patient gives back

A former St. Jude patient now works at the place that helped her beat cancer.

Posted: Jun 29, 2020 7:31 PM

TUPELO, Miss (WTVA) -- Now is the time to get your ticket for the St. Jude Dream Home.

This year we want to set a record and raise one million dollars. 

All of the money raised will go to help end childhood cancer and save the lives of children around the world.

Kids like Liza who, at a young age, was diagnosed with a rare cancer.

"I've never had such pain in hearing such news. It was devastating," Ann, Liza's mother, said. 

As a parent, you never want to hear "your child has cancer."

But these words rang in Ann's ears as doctors told her that her little Liza had pleuropulmonary blastoma.

"A doctor came in and they told us that Liza had a very large mass in her right thoracic cavity and we would be transferred to st. Jude," Ann said. 

Liza was just two at the time.

"They found the tumor was very large. It was 100 percent of her right thoracic cavity and it was growing," Ann said. 

But Liza's condition was rare.

St. Jude doctors had only seen it once before.

"So there really wasn't a protocol to treat it until St. Jude came up with it. We re so lucky St. Jude can be so innovative with their patients and their treatments," Liza, St. Jude patient, said.

Liza's treatment included chemo and the removal of her right lung.

After nine months, the doctors told Liza she was cancer free.

But that surgery lead to scoliosis by the age of 12. 

"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," Liza said. 

This meant another surgery.

The family went to Texas for that surgery but the procedure was considered experimental so insurance wouldn't pay for it.

And because of that the hospital wouldn t do it.

They turned to St. Jude again.

"I think mom got the call from Dr. Hudson and she said that St. Jude was going to cover that surgery, because once you're a patient there you re always a patient there," Liza said.

"They give all kinds of hope. They never let you give up," Ann said. 

Liza is now 29 years old and works for ALSAC, the fundraising arm of St. Jude.

She plans to attend nursing school in the fall to continue her efforts to give back.

And you can give back by reserving your ticket to the St. Jude Dream Home. Visit dreamhome.org or call 1-800-456-8351

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 308111

Reported Deaths: 7122
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20826248
Hinds19910411
Harrison17510302
Rankin13334276
Jackson13118243
Madison9908210
Lee9871170
Jones8297160
Forrest7525147
Lauderdale7198237
Lowndes6272144
Lamar611084
Lafayette6039117
Washington5281133
Bolivar4772129
Oktibbeha455897
Panola4445103
Pearl River4428141
Warren4284118
Marshall4276100
Pontotoc416972
Monroe4061132
Union403975
Neshoba3994176
Lincoln3871109
Hancock372885
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329589
Tate322782
Pike3188104
Scott310872
Yazoo304468
Alcorn298065
Itawamba297177
Copiah293265
Coahoma289778
Simpson288284
Tippah284868
Prentiss275759
Marion266079
Leake261373
Wayne261341
Grenada255384
Covington254780
Adams246082
Newton245161
George238147
Winston225981
Tishomingo222267
Jasper219748
Attala213473
Chickasaw205057
Holmes186872
Clay182854
Stone179331
Clarke177076
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163531
Yalobusha159236
Smith158834
Walthall130643
Greene129433
Lawrence126423
Noxubee126233
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120926
Amite120141
Webster113532
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102725
Claiborne101330
Benton97325
Kemper95428
Humphreys94332
Franklin82123
Quitman78916
Choctaw73417
Wilkinson64928
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 520503

Reported Deaths: 10722
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754091487
Mobile38938798
Madison33898495
Tuscaloosa25297443
Montgomery23992567
Shelby23124239
Baldwin20652300
Lee15541165
Calhoun14301311
Morgan14145270
Etowah13665346
Marshall11967219
Houston10381278
Elmore10001200
Limestone9822147
Cullman9481188
St. Clair9435234
Lauderdale9223227
DeKalb8748181
Talladega8071171
Walker7100275
Jackson6762110
Autauga6734103
Blount6497135
Colbert6210130
Coffee5404112
Dale4766110
Russell429038
Franklin419982
Chilton4087109
Covington4056114
Tallapoosa3898146
Escambia388574
Dallas3531149
Chambers3503122
Clarke346560
Marion3066100
Pike305876
Lawrence295395
Winston272572
Bibb256459
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens233059
Barbour225255
Hale218775
Butler212566
Fayette209260
Henry187744
Cherokee182144
Randolph176941
Monroe172040
Washington164238
Macon154848
Clay149555
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146241
Lamar139334
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109128
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene91034
Choctaw58724
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