Tulsa's St. Jude Dream Home Is Unique

Tuesday, September 19th 2006, 3:43 pm
By: News On 6

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has begun fundraising in Tulsa. They're selling raffle tickets and will give away a $400,000 dream home next month.

St. Jude does this in several cities, but as News on 6 reporter Jennifer Loren discovered, Tulsa's dream home is unique.

That's because one of its builders was cured of cancer thanks to St. Jude. Tristan Norsworthy is a framing contractor. But before that, he's a cancer survivor. "When I was 8, I was diagnosed with A.L.L. leukemia." A.L.L. is cancer of the blood. It can be deadly. Tristan's doctor sent him to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for help. "By the time I got to St. Jude they told me I had basically about a week, five days to a week to live."

But St. Jude gave Tristan and his family options. He tried a new kind of chemotherapy that hadn't been tested as much as others. "It worked on me. I went straight in to remission." In fact, St. Jude researchers and doctors have played leading roles in drastically bringing A.L.L. survival rates up. In 1962 there was a 4 percent survival rate. Now A.L.L. patients have a 90 percent chance of surviving.

Jennifer Loren: “And how are you doing now?” Tristan Norsworthy: “doing great. Got a beautiful wife, two great kids and I have a life that I wasn't supposed to have. I just turned 32 and 24 years of borrowed time."

That's why Tristan donated his time to the St. Jude dream home. He and his team framed the 3,700 square foot house with donated materials. That's three weeks of work for free. But for Tristan Norsworthy, it’s the least he could do. "St. Jude gives hope and they give lives back to kids that don't have hope and parents that don't have hope. So this is well worth it."

Raffle tickets for the dream home are $100. You can buy them at any IBC Bank branch or Hancock Fabrics.

St. Jude runs solely off of donations. They do not charge their patients for medical care if they can not afford it.