The money from the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway pays for lifesaving research and treatment for kids with devastating illnesses.
Tayde Cruz was once one of those kids. She was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of seven. Friends in Mexico told Tayde's mother about St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Now, Tayde tells KMPH News anchor Ralph Wood the rest of her story of hope and victory.
I started my treatments when I was seven, and had a second treatment when I was 12, and a third one when I was 14. By the time I was 15, I had gone through three leukemia treatments. I lost my hair so many times I lost count. I received radiation too, which also makes you lose your hair. I swelled up because of the medicines and chemo, and my skin changed color.
It was very hard but you know, you can go through it. I think St. Jude and God give you strength.
When you have a child who's sick, you want the best place for that child.
You want to hear the word cure. You want to hear remission. You want to hear life. And those were the words that my mom was hearing from this family, and she said, 'let's go.'
It was a different culture, different people, different country, different language, different food. Away from our family in Mexico. We're very close to our families and that's who gives us strength. But St. Jude became our family, you know. The staff here. Danny Thomas was alive, and he happened to see us, and we had just arrived at St. Jude.
He sat down. He put me on his lap, and he was stroking my hair. He asked a nurse what I was there for. So they told him, and he said, you're going to be okay. We'll save you, we'll save your life.
My mom usually describes St. Jude like a little piece of heaven on Earth.
And it's true. And it's here, and it happens because of people who support it.
St. Jude gives you hope.
St. Jude gave me life. Not only once, but three times.
And I am so thankful that I'm able to still feel the air on my face, and see the colors of the world, and walk through many countries and enjoy life.
It's because of this place kids can grow up, and we can fulfill our dreams.
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