“She always has to be wearing a dress. I mean, even to bed. She wears a skirt or a dress and it has to spin,” said Mabry’s mother, Jenny. “She’s bubbly, she’s funny, she’s feisty. She is just a go-getter. And we now know why she is the way she is.”

Mabry is a young girl from Tennessee who is undergoing treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Center for B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the blood.

“It was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever heard. Nobody knows what’s going to happen when they find out their kid has cancer. I just remember being silent and just, of course, I was holding Mabry and just squeezing her,” said Jenny.

St. Jude’s treatment course for ALL is divided into three phases and usually runs two and a half to three years. The plan sounded daunting at first to Mabry’s parents.

“I remember walking through the halls and seeing other families smiling and laughing and just thinking, ‘Okay. You know, it’s going to be us. This is going to be okay,’” said Jenny.

The first six to eight weeks are intense as doctors try to get the disease under control. Mabry’s parents were amazed by the caring approach and support of the staff at St. Jude.

“I do remember something my doctor stated to me. She was telling me how it gets paid, that we won’t be responsible for anything. And the doctor said, ‘You know, we run a lot of baseline tests and the insurance companies will call us and say, ‘We’re not paying for this.’ And she’ll say, ‘We’re not asking you to pay for this.’ They take all these extra steps to make sure your child is well taken care of,” said Jenny.

Mabry is doing well and her parents say they will always be grateful to St. Jude for the care their daughter and family has received.

“We’ve come leaps and bounds from when we first found out our diagnosis to where we are today. I know people say all the time how strong you are, but it’s just something that you do. You don’t realize how strong you are until you’re put in that situation. You just feel like your child is a hero. And there’s nothing they can’t do after this. Especially as they get older and grow, you know they’ll be able to conquer anything,” said Jenny.

Tickets for this year’s St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway in Chattanooga are sold out, but you can still tour the home on weekends through Sunday, June 18.

Watch WRCB Channel 3 on Sunday, June 25 from noon – 1 p.m. for the home drawing along with several other prizes.