'I wouldn't be here': Virginia girl, celebrating 11 years in remission, credits St. Jude with saving her life

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Posted at 12:44 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 17:41:19-04

Every dollar raised for the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway will help towards finding a cure for childhood cancer by funding the research to save lives.

One of those little lives is a 12-year-old girl who lives here in Virginia. In a single sentence, Leah Duggan explained how her treatment at St. Jude was, for her, the difference between life and death: "I wouldn't be here."

Leah was diagnosed with a rare and very aggressive form of leukemia when she was just a baby. Her cancer did not respond to standard chemotherapy treatments, so the family turned to St. Jude. That's where Leah was able to undergo a stem cell transplant using her mom's cells.

Today, Leah is a healthy, active middle schooler who plays soccer. Her mom Kate credits St. Jude for saving her daughter's life, and how grateful they are to celebrate 11 years in remission.

"Her cancer was just so aggressive and she was kind of out of options, so with really nowhere else to turn, thankfully St. Jude exists and they knew what to do," Kate Duggan said. "They said, 'Hey, we know how to treat your child, we have a clinical trial and it would be perfect for her, bring her on down.' So we packed up and moved to Memphis and stayed there. The rest is history."

That's what St. Jude provides: hope.

You can reserve your ticket for the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway by clicking here or picking one up at any Southern Bank location. As an added bonus, if you buy your ticket by Friday, March 25, you'll be eligible to win a $10,000 gift card.

The prizes are nice, but every dollar will go towards life-saving treatment for children in need.