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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: 261167

Reported Deaths: 5713
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17561191
Hinds16687329
Harrison14050202
Rankin11102217
Jackson10729188
Lee9014143
Madison8495168
Jones6607114
Forrest6135122
Lauderdale6067192
Lowndes5490120
Lafayette511794
Lamar499865
Washington4904125
Bolivar4087109
Oktibbeha403581
Panola380981
Pontotoc374757
Monroe3651106
Warren3649103
Union353263
Marshall352069
Neshoba3464154
Pearl River3422105
Leflore3090109
Lincoln304287
Sunflower290373
Hancock288461
Tate279062
Alcorn270754
Pike268180
Itawamba266662
Scott256048
Yazoo253756
Prentiss251153
Copiah247649
Tippah247550
Coahoma245954
Simpson241471
Leake236167
Grenada222471
Marion220273
Covington219072
Adams212370
Wayne208432
Winston205870
George203539
Newton197346
Attala196461
Tishomingo193861
Chickasaw188444
Jasper177838
Holmes171368
Clay164237
Tallahatchie155635
Stone149525
Clarke144762
Calhoun139922
Smith127725
Yalobusha121134
Walthall114037
Greene112929
Noxubee112225
Montgomery111236
Carroll106422
Lawrence105617
Perry104031
Amite100826
Webster95424
Tunica88221
Claiborne87825
Jefferson Davis87727
Benton84823
Humphreys84224
Kemper80020
Quitman7049
Franklin69617
Choctaw62513
Wilkinson59625
Jefferson56520
Sharkey44817
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
Coosa63215
Choctaw51724
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