Messages of hope line floor of St. Jude Dream Home - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Messages of hope line floor of St. Jude Dream Home

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APISON, HAMILTON COUNTY (WRCB) -

The 2016 St. Jude Dream Home received a special addition Tuesday to bless its future residents.

Volunteers, sponsors and a local St. Jude patient family gathered for a floor signing ceremony to celebrate the work of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. They used permanent markers to write messages of hope, blessing and gratitude on the floor before the builders finish the interior of the home.

The future owners won't see the messages, but for volunteers and families it's a way to show this is no ordinary home.

"We've made lifelong family friends with so many of the people there," said Kathy Young, Shaw Floors vice president of marketing. "We find any excuse we can to be involved with the families of St. Jude."

For Rita Newman it's a special opportunity to bring attention to the life-saving work at St. Jude and express her gratitude. Her son Andrew is a patient and cancer survivor.

"When he was 2, he had a tumor removed. And he is now 11. And we've been able to go to St. Jude every year now for constant care with regards to the tumor that was removed," said Newman.

Families sent to St. Jude never receive a bill, so they can focus on their child's health. The hospital covers everything from medical expenses to food and lodging and social services support.

It's something Newman is thankful for every day. She and her husband were shocked when they inquired about a payment plan and learned they wouldn't have to pay a penny for their son's care at the hospital.

"We would have done anything we had to, to make it work. But it was just one of those factors that we didn't even have to think about when we were going there. And that was just phenomenal for us."

Your support for the hospital through a Dream Home ticket helps make that happen for families in the Tennessee Valley and around the world.

"They've been able to provide all of that because of all the donations and because of all the support that comes from the different communities. This house particular, in this drive, that's where that will go: to help our families," said Newman.

You can help support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through the 2016 St. Jude Dream Home giveaway

In Tennessee, tickets are available online, by phone at 1-800-750-6962 or at Regions Bank locations in Tennessee. Georgia residents can purchase tickets by phone or at a Regions Bank location in Tennessee.

Each ticket costs $100. A limited number of tickets are available and the past two giveaways have sold out early.

The St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway is one of the largest single-event fundraisers for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. It generates more than $290 million for the research and treatment of childhood cancer.

For more information about the giveaway, visit the Chattanooga Dream Home website.

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