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Las Vegas dream home giveaway to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

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Representatives from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, News 3 and local developers break ground Tuesday, May 2, 2017, on the state's first St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway house. (Bradford Boyer/KSNV)

Representatives from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, News 3, and local developers broke ground on the state's first St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway house on Tuesday.

When St. Jude opened in 1962, the overall childhood cancer survival rate was only 20-percent.

Today, hospital reps say the survival number is higher than 80-percent, a percentage they hope will continue to grow to 100.

"We are so happy to continue to support the hospital and do what we can to help," said Jenica Haug. "Our son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He was two. And we went through treatment with him for about two years. He passed away in 2007. And we just had such a great experience there. A special place in our heart for St. Jude."

Haug and her husband, Eric are hoping you will join them in their support for St. Jude, in honor of their son Kai's life.

"Even though a cure wasn't found for him, we had comfort in knowing that we were in the best place for him, to give him the best chance," said Eric Haug.

Through local sponsorships from KSNV News 3, Element Building Company, and iHeartRadio, dream home hopefuls will get to purchase a limited number of tickets for a chance to win. All proceeds will go to St. Jude.

"When (families) come to St. Jude all they have to worry about is helping their child to live," said Bret Roy, St. Jude Regional Director.

The dream home giveaway is one of the largest single-event fundraisers for the organization nationwide. Alone – it has raised more than $325 million.

"Every day, a family has to hear those words you never want to hear, that 'your child has cancer.' Over 16,000 families still hear that every single year," said Roy.

The home giveaway will mark one family's chance at a dream while ensuring the nightmares of others' are never met with a bill from St. Jude. The hospital completely covers the cost to families for their child’s treatment, housing, travel, and food.

"There's no way that we could repay St. Jude, even monetarily, for what they did for us. It was so much more than just the money," said Jenica as she fought back tears. "What they provided for our family and our son. It's a great way to give back and to help other children in the world that have cancer. You never know when it's going to strike your family or someone you know."

Tickets for the home giveaway will go on sale on Wednesday, Aug. 2 for $100 each. Only 8,500 tickets will be available. The home, located near Durango and Craig, is currently under construction but will be open to the public beginning with the grand opening on Sept. 9. Open houses will occur every weekend through Oct. 8.

The winner of the house and other prizes will be given away live on News 3 on Oct. 11, 2017. Stay tuned for more details.

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