EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSESPN'S STORY
from Eyewitness News Online
Search For A Cure Necessary To Save Kids Like Espn Murphy
Reported by: Kristin Keeling
Web Producer: Kristin Keeling
Reported: Apr. 29, 2012 6:34 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 29, 2012 7:08 PM EDT
Eyewitness News took a trip to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in October. We sat down with 3-year-old Espn Murphy and his parents to talk about the hospital and it's dedication to help sick children.
At three years old, Espn was a character at heart and full of ambition and life.
"I didn't know why it happened to him. He was only two, normal and healthy," said Espn's mother, Jill Murphy.
But in March of 2010, Espn's parents Doug and Jill were given news that would change their life and Espn's life forever.
"It was the worst news I could have got. I figured we were going there and it was going to be something they were going to be able to fix," explained Jill.
At two years old, Espn started to have trouble walking. Jill says he was falling a lot and they knew something just wasn't right. "He ended up getting a huge bump on his head and we had to take him to the ER. They did cat scans and the next day we took him to a children's hospital close by Pottsville and that's where he had an MRI done. That's where they gave us the worst news," she said.
Doctors from Espn's hometown in Pottsville, Pennsylvania found a rare brainstem tumor inside Espn's head called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.
Doctors said his tumor was inoperable and gave Espn only six to nine months to live.
"I started praying for that miracle right away that he would overcome it," said Jill.
After days of research, the Murphys turned to the only place where they say hope lives, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
They packed up and flew from Pennsylvania to Memphis, Tennessee. When Eyewitness News interviewed the Murphys, Espn was receiving treatment in and out of St. Jude for a little over a year.
"The first day that we were here and had appointments and met with the doctor, it was the first time anyone had given us any hope. He even used the word hope and right away I just felt a huge relief. I knew we had made the right decision," explained Jill.
Little Espn was just one of the 260 patients St. Jude treats each day. He was able to laugh and play during our short time spent with him and his parents at the hospital.
Sadly, Espn's long, hard fight grew thin. His condition worsened, and Espn died about a month after our interview in November.
But St. Jude continues to research and find treatments for childhood cancers every day to save children's lives. It's hoped one day scientists will find a cure that will eradicate childhood cancers.
"They're making the strides and research and one day there will be a cure. And it will come from St. Jude," said Jill.
The St. Jude Dream Home is located in the Cobblestone Subdivision of Putnam County. Open houses will be every Saturday and Sunday from noon until 5:00 p.m. until June 3.
It will be given away live on Eyewitness News June 10.
You can get your ticket at the Nitro, Eleanor and Point Pleasant branches of Peoples Federal Credit Union, Burdette Camping Center or any participating Good Neighbor Pharmacy. They're also available at www.dreamhome.org or at 1-800-592-1582.
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