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St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway: Fighting to find a cure

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital patient Azalea Bedward, 4, is seen in a KBAK/KBFX photo.

In 1962, actor Danny Thomas opened St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a shrine to the patron saint of hopeless causes.

According to the hospital, years earlier, Thomas was a struggling actor and prayed to St. Jude Thaddeus to help him find his way. If he found success, Thomas said he would give back.

That’s exactly what Thomas did. Since he opened St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the overall survival rate for childhood cancer has risen from 20 percent to 80 percent, according to the hospital.

Thomas made a vow that the work at St. Jude won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.

The mission of St. Jude is, “No child should die in the dawn of life” -- a mission that doctors and researchers work tirelessly to live by.

“I think St. Jude means hope, and when you’re investing in St. Jude you’re investing in the future of these children to have a happy childhood and potential for the future they deserve," said Dr. Katherine Roberts, a staff scientist in the Department of Pathology.

It's a future that is now bright for 4-year-old Azalea Bedward. Two years ago, Azalea was diagnosed with a rare cancer. Not only is she a survivor, but her mother, Simone Bedward, said her case is helping others.

“She was able to participate in research that saved so many other children’s lives,” said Simone Bedward. “What you see is so true, and the little that you contribute goes a long, long way.”

The Bedwards and other families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food. The St. Jude motto is that no families should have to worry about those things, because all a family should have to worry about is helping their child live.

You can now reserve your tickets for the Bakersfield St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway.

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