WICHITA, Kansas – A Wichita family has St. Jude Children’s Research hospital to thank for providing care to their 5-year-old daughter, Bella. Now, they’re also thanking Bella’s school for offering love and support.
On a Thursday morning Bella and her teachers hosted a donut party for some of her classmates. The party is a thank you for money collected during a week long St. Jude fundraiser.
“Almost $2,400,” said Bella’s Principal Shane Dent.
It’s $2,400 that will go toward helping kids just like Bella. Her battle with cancer has been a long one and with ongoing treatments it’s far from over.
“The last thing you want to do is think about losing your child,” said her dad Josh Bush. “We really feel indebted, we’d be bankrupt at this point.”
“I love St. Jude!” said Bella.
Saint Jude relies on donations though, and that’s something Oatville Elementary wanted to help with.
“A lot of our families live paycheck to paycheck, and every dollar matters. For all our families to understand the cause and the importance of supporting our Oatville family it just says a lot about our families,” said Dent.
The week was full of activities to help raise money. Face painting and hair dying were among the popular activities that cost a dollar to participate.
“Every body’s been so supportive and it just feels good to know that we have the support rallying behind us,” Bush said.
With a long journey ahead, Oatville says they’re not going anywhere.
“We’ve just embraced her,” Dent said. “I don’t know if you’ve seen her smile, but for a child going through what she’s going through, there couldn’t be a better spirit.”
The Bush family received Bella’s cancer diagnosis in July of 2012 when she was just 18 -months-old. Bella soon started receiving treatment from St. Jude and on September 24, 2012 she had brain surgery at the hospital. All of her care was free of charge.
“The last thing you want to do is think about losing your child. We really feel indebted, we’d be bankrupt at this point,” Bella’s father, Josh Bush, said.
In October 2012, Bella began chemo and on April 24,2014 she had what she and her family thought would be her last round of chemo.
The family was allowed relief from Bella’s illness for a while, but in early 2015 the cancer returned. Bella restarted chemo at St. Jude last fall.
Through St. Jude’s mission, the Bush family has been able to care for Bella’s needs without the looming threat of financial problems down the road.
St. Jude is funded by donations. In many parts of the country, the hospital raffles off a Saint Jude Dream Home to help cover the costs of running its program.
Since it’s creation in 1991, the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway has given away more than 394 homes and has raised more than $320 million to help save the lives of children fighting cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Since charity raffling became legal in Kansas, the hospital is building the state’s first ever Saint Jude Dream Home located in Derby.
Starting in mid-March, you can win your chance for the home. There will only be 6,500 $100 tickets available.
Visitors will get their chance to see the custom Nies Homes’ 2016 St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway house at open houses every Saturday and Sunday, beginning April 16, 2016. The lucky winning ticket will be drawn May 25, 2016 and announced on KSN.
Stay tuned to KSN, we’ll be following the progress of the house as it’s built and letting you know about other prizes and opportunities that are available for you to win.