EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSBELLE'S STORY
from Eyewitness News Online
How St. Jude Is Helping A Little Girl In Her Battle Against A Deadly Disease
Reported by: Kristin Keeling
Web Producer: Kristin Keeling
Reported: Feb. 24, 2012 2:14 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 24, 2012 5:51 PM EST
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital sees nearly 260 patients every day. One of those patients is 4-year-old Belle Mitchell.
Eyewitness News sat down with Belle and her mother to bring you her inspirational story.
Belle is like any other 4-year-old girl. She's happy, curious and spontaneous. But what makes Belle a little different is that this sweet little girl is battling a deadly disease, striking terror in the heart of her mother, Kelley.
"When I found out, my first thought was that she's not going to survive. I didn't think that children with brain tumors lived," said Kelley Mitchell.
Belle was diagnosed with a rare type of brain tumor when she was just 2-years old. At the time, her prognosis wasn't promising. "The doctor had never worked with that type of tumor, so he wasn't sure exactly how to treat it," explained Mitchell.
Belle's parents quickly turned to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for help. Kelley packed-up their things and moved Belle from South Carolina to Memphis where she underwent six months of chemotherapy.
"We feel comfort here, we feel safe here. We have so many friends that the doctors and nurses feel like family in a lot of ways. So it's like a second home to us."
St. Jude Children's treats 8,000 children like Belle every year. Since 1962, when the hospital first opened, the survival rate for all childhood cancers has jumped from 20% to 80% today. The Dream Home Giveaway is helping to fund treatments and cures for sick children worldwide.
For Belle, St. Jude has been a great place to make friends, explore and play. But for her parents, it's a place they pray will save their daughter's life.
"I find hope in the fact that Belle is not just being treated, but that they're looking for cures to help kids in the future. It just gives you a new perspective. You begin to appreciate little things. You thank God for the day that you're given and the time that you have," said Mitchell.
The most important thing is every cent goes to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to help them research and treat catastrophic childhood diseases.
The dream home has an estimated value of $460,000. It's located in the Cobblestone Subdivision in Scott Depot, Putnam County. It's being built by Hobba Enterprises.
The cottage-style dream home is a 3,000 square foot, two story home. It has four bedrooms, four baths, and a two car garage with a finished basement. It has a bonus room upstairs and an outdoor living space.
Operators for St. Jude are waiting to take your call for a chance to win the Dream Home. Tickets are $100. That ticket puts you in the winning for the home and other prizes that will be given away. The number to buy a ticket is 1-800-592-1582 or you can log onto www.dreamhome.org
The winner of the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway will be drawn on Sunday, June 10 on WCHS TV. If you reserve your ticket by March 30, you will be eligible to win the early bird prize.
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