RANKIN COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Julia Eidt was just two years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia. Five years later, the energetic seven-year-old still goes to St. Jude for yearly check-ups, but now, she's cancer-free.
"The week before we left, we had a no chemo party, and then when I walked in my room on my little bed, I walked from my room to my bed, and they were like, 'Surprise!' And I started to cry."
That's the kind of thing Julia remembers from her time at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. The world-renowned research facility not only treats young cancer patients, it helps them forget they're sick.
"It's kind of fun when you have leukemia, because, when you want snacks, they give you a big pile of snacks!" exclaimed Julia.
"To know the only thing she remembers is that she could eat whatever she wanted and squirt as much glue and glitter as she wanted, what a great memory that is. She didn't remember the bad stuff," said Wray Eidt, Julia's father.
And every patient is treated free of charge.
"I know [the bill] was well over half a million dollars, probably moving into the area of three quarters of a million, but all you got was a bill that was zeroed out," said Wray Eidt.
That's where the St Jude Dream Home comes in. Everyone who enters the raffle to win the half million dollar home, located in the Rankin County Arbor Landing subdivision, helps raise money for St. Jude.
"The research that takes places at St. Jude, it trickles down to Jackson, MS. One might say, 'Let's donate to what's happening in our town,' but every finding that St. Jude discovers is given to any hospital that wants it," said Jennifer Eidt, Julia's mother. "So your money spent here actually comes back here."
"As a family, we were all treated by that fabulous hospital," adds Julia's mother.
If you'd like to help the cause and enter to win the St. Jude Dream Home, call 1-800-371-6789.
A $100 ticket could win a you a $550,000 dream home on the Reservoir. Proceeds benefit the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
You can see the home for yourself from 12-5 PM May 22nd and 23rd, and from 12-9 PM May 24th-29th.
The winner will be announced on the WLBT 5 PM report May 30th.
©2010 WLBT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.