St. Jude Dream Home helps kids out like Brody

St. Jude Dream Home helps kids out like Brody

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Brody was living the life every nine-year-old dreams of ; a life that consists of wakeboading, ATV riding, playing in the snow, fish and playing travel baseball.

Brody is a big Chicago Cubs fan with a smile that can light up any room.

But last September, for Brody and his family from Channahon, Illinois, life as they knew it  was about to change.

"Him and my husband had gone to hit golf balls one day and that evening Brody complained of a lot of pain in his chest area and in his ribs. And for several days he was in a lot of pain," said Lisa, Brody's mom.

Doctors diagnosed Broday with inflammation of the cartilage, a lung issue, even arthritis. But he still had fevers and night sweats.

"And I knew there was something else wrong," Lisa added.

Then a pathologist figured it out.

"The doctor came in and got my husband and I and asked us to leave Brody's room. And in the hallway she said 'I wanted to tell you it's not rheumatoid arthritis, he has leukemia.' And it's not what we thought we were going to hear. It was devastation," Lisa explained.

Lisa's family had fundraised for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for 25 years and have helped kids they didn't even know.

Now their precious Brody, with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, was the child in need.

He got through the long drive to Memphis and five minutes after getting in his room, doctors and nurses were there.

"They started right away," Lisa said.

Brody was put on 13 different medications plus chemotherapy. He struggled with taking pills, but Lisa was instantly impressed with the wonderful people at St. Jude.

"They would even get together and come up with different ideas like maybe a fruit rollup would help Brody take this medication. You know, let's practice with little mini M&Ms first," Lisa explained.

Brody has been responding well to treatment. Doctors told Lisa that Brody has "stumped them" during his recovery and caused them to have more meetings.

Brody's family has a lot of support, including several Toledoans as friends. And Brody just received a patch that a retired Toledo Police Lieutenant Ed Phillips wore from his uniform.

It's one of more than a thousand, that the son of a firefighter has received from all over the country.

"They just sent it the other day with a card in it and it was actually a patch that Ed wore on his uniform when he was working for the police department," Lisa said.

Lisa said St. Jude treats the whole family. They've never seen a medical bill, paid for housing, or even food.  And even Brody's big sister Sydney is loved there.

In fact a painting of hers was included in St. Jude's Teen Art Gallery.

Lisa and Brody are well aware of the St. Jude Dream Home being built in Waterville and how reserving your ticket, and chance to win, will help kids like Brody.

"We wouldn't be here and he might not be here. And there are hundreds of children, around the world, who have been cured because of St. Jude," said Lisa.

Maybe Brody's own words of hope  are enough motivation to reserve a ticket.

He recently talked about his treatment, called Total 17 protocol, where he will undergo more than two years of chemotherapy.

"The Total 17 protocol, they wouldn't have that if they didn't do research. And that's helped me a lot. I hope they find the cure for cancer so everybody can go back to living their normal lives," said Brody.

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