St. Jude Stories of Hope: Athens twins, sister saved by hospital - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

St. Jude Stories of Hope: Athens twins, sister saved by hospital

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The Million family The Million family
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) was made famous by the 1976 movie "Boy in a Plastic Bubble."

It's a rare disease that one Athens family has battled with three of their four children.

Today, the Million twins and their little sister are living normal lives, no bubbles needed, thanks to the lifesaving work of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Identical twins Addisyn and Madisyn Million do everything together today,
but the first part of their lives they lived apart.

"Nobody wants to hear that your child let alone two of your children need to go to St. Jude," says Emily Million.

Addisyn developed a cold then bronchitis and pneumonia.

It wasn't until her parents took her to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital that she was diagnosed with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).

"It's about one in a million," says Emily.

Labron Million says St. Jude provided a sigh of relief.

"It gave me peace of mind," Labron says. "You know, I felt like these people know what they're talking about."

Addisyn underwent a stem cell transplant, so did her sister.

"They knew right away that what Addie had, Maddie had also," says Emily.

For the next five months the girls were kept on separate ends of the hospital, so their treatment would not be mixed up.

"We had photo albums of the other baby," Emily recalls. "I'm sure they thought it was themselves, but we tried as much as we could to keep them in contact with each other without letting them touch each other."

The treatment was successful.

The girls were reunited and able to return home.

There success story was even featured on NBC's the Today Show, which announced the Million family's other big news.

"We knew it was a chance, so we went ahead and tested her," Labron says. "She didn't show any signs."

It wasn't until Naomi was four weeks old that doctors discovered the twins' baby sister also had the disease.

"It was more devastating, because you know what you're facing," says Emily.

The family went through another period of separation to protect Naomi's immune system; but today, the three girls are happy, healthy, and a testament to the life-saving work being done at St. Jude.

Research, treatment and much more came at no cost to the Million family.

"Just a simple blood test can cost hundreds of dollars," Emily says. "You don't even worry about that. You worry about the results, and just seeing them get better."

The Millions donated to St. Jude for years before their girls were diagnosed.

They still give, and plan to purchase a Dream Home ticket this year, in hopes of saving another child.

"A new start in life for kids with cancer, for kids with different kinds of diseases," Labron says. "$100 is all a ticket is, right? That's not much. I'm going to do it. Please do it."

To enter 2013 Dream Home Giveaway, click here.

READ MORE:

Chattanooga boy saved by St. Jude grows up to work there

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