TOLEDO, Ohio — Thursday is your chance to help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital save lives by getting your ticket to possibly win this year’s St. Jude Dream Home.

This mission goes well beyond the research, medical care and hope that St. Jude provides.

Our Chris Vickers kicked off the campaign with a visit to St. Jude and had the opportunity to again experience the hope and positive vibes there. 

For over 30 years, Dr. John McCormick has had a dream job at St. Jude and now serves as the director of pharmacy.  

He has been part of the mission of saving lives since the days Danny Thomas walked the grounds,and describes St. Jude like this:

 “We do see kids smiling, laughing, playing, and I think the institution takes that seriously. We have some of the world’s greatest scientists, world’s greatest physicians, but we’ve got some of the world’s greatest people working with kids,” said Dr. McCormick.

When St. Jude opened in 1962, pediatric cancer was a death sentence, with survival rate around 20 percent. 

Today, it is over 80 percent.  

All care, treatment, travel and housing are completely free of charge, no family ever receives a bill.

St. Jude Visit With Cooper
St. Jude patient Cooper with his father at the Dream Home media visit Wednesday, April 3, 2019.

Dr. McCormick explains how modern medicine takes a more specific and delicate focus to curing children from cancer and other life-threatening diseases St. Jude. 

“Sometimes it’s the simplest thing of trying to figure out how to get a kid who has this big tablet that were being sent in a formulation that a two-year-old can take because I know they can’t swallow that big tablet. So sometimes, that’s the biggest challenge; now we know how we want to treat them, we know it might be successful but how are we going to get them to take that medicine?” Dr. McCormick said.

For many children, it may take one pharmacist hours to formulate complex medications for one patient - time and money many other intuitions and hospitals don’t have.  

At St. Jude, cost is not an issue, because most of the funding is from private donations - like yours - and support from programs like the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway. 

Last year with your help, the St. Jude Toledo Dream Home campaign raised over $1 million for the kids at St. Jude!

READ MORE: Winners of St. Jude Dream Home donate house back to St. Jude

St. Jude Visit
Chris Vickers with Dr. McCormick, Director of Pharmacy at St. Jude

But the mission won’t end until no child ever dies of cancer.

“We keep the doors open because we’re not at 100 percent on anything yet, so that’s why we strive to get better," said Dr. McCormick.

Tickets for our Toledo St. Jude Dream Home are available tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. You can call 1-800-831-7061 or get yours on our WTOL website

St. Jude is always free for any child, which is why your support is needed to keep the mission of Danny Thomas and St. Jude going!

St. Jude Visit
Chris Vickers at the Danny Thomas statue near the entrance of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.