Eight-year-old Mason is an outgoing child with a mischievous grin and a love for the outdoors.

Fishing trips with dad are one of his favorite activities, but those are precious moments his parents weren't sure he would continue to have just a few years ago.

Around his fifth birthday, Mason's parents noticed something wasn't right. His color was off and he had an abnormal number of bruises.

"He had his birthday party. Every kid's little dream of a birthday party. And he seemed a little distant. He kept coming up and sitting in my lap. Once he was around several children, he looked like a ghost," said Mason's father, Matt. "The day after his party we took him to the doctor where we live. his blood level was so low, if we would have waited a couple more days, he said more than likely he would have passed in his sleep."

Doctors diagnosed Mason with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a type of blood cancer. They sent him to St. Jude that night.

"She told us not to go home. That she had already sent the results to St. Jude and they wanted us there immediately," said Matt. "And then we had a 3 1/2 hour drive from there. And when we got here there was, it was overwhelming. Lots of chemotherapy, right off the bat. He had a lot of fevers, stuff like that. Complications. And it pulls your heart out. It pulls your heart out. But then in five weeks, he hit remission."

From there, Mason continued to gain ground.

"He's at the point now where they keep his count to where the cancer couldn't survive if it was there. And they are 100 percent positive that it is not there. That it's gone," said Matt.

Mason's parents, Matt and Kimberly, were never sent a bill. St. Jude covers the cost of medical treatment, lodging, transportation and food so parents can focus on helping their child get better.

"There's no other place in the world that would have done something like that," said Matt. "Without St. Jude I wouldn't have my little boy here today. And I don't know where I would be without him."

Matt and Mason still enjoy fishing trips together. Mason has a competitive streak and tries to "win" by catching the first fish, the largest fish or the most fish.

"I look down at him when he's fishing and there was a point in time where I didn't know if that would happen for us. And because of St. Jude, we can have several more of those memories," said Matt.

Now back home in Missouri, Mason enjoys school, riding his own horse, Princess, and riding trails with his family.

You can help other families like Mason's by purchasing a ticket for the 2017 Chattanooga Dream Home giveaway or making a donation of any kind.

CALL NOW | 1-800-750-6962

This year’s home is located in the beautiful Eagle Bluff Woods community off Highway 58 in Chattanooga. It's worth more than $650,000. At more than 4,000 square feet, the four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom home is the largest Dream Home in Chattanooga to date and the first to include a basement. The home and several other prizes will be given away on Sunday, June 25 during a special broadcast on Channel 3.

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