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Community rallies together to help support children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital


For Karen Willis, it was like someone tapped her on the shoulder.

"We all fight a battle in some way," Panico-Willis said.

Three of her grandsons were diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, so children's hospitals have long had a place in her heart.

"All children need to be able to live and survive and outlast their parents and grandparents," Panico-Willis said.

On top of that, her daughter recently moved into a St. Jude Dream House in Ohio. So when she heard about Coachella Valley's first St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, it was destiny. She knew she had to help.

"We're not, like we said, rich people but we can provide services and talents and so we were able to provide the installation of the pad that was generously donated by Shaw," Panico-Willis said.

Watch: Winners of the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway announced

Panico-Willis, co-owner of D & D Carpet in Rancho Mirage, tracked down the builders and offered to help put the carpet in the home, free of charge.

The kindness of people wanting to donate and give and contribute and it's what made all the difference in helping the Dream Home come together.

"We are donating the flooring for this house in the Coachella Valley and all the homes around the country that are being given away with all the proceeds from this going back to St. Jude to help the children," said Curtis Callaway of Shaw Floors.

"Thank you to everyone in the Coachella Valley who has come together to make this amazing home come to life and it's super exciting for us at St. Jude to see how the community has rallied around the cause and the mission of St. Jude which is finding cures and saving children," said Angela Northrup- ALSAC/ St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

A collection of efforts have built a big home and made an even bigger difference for those so small fighting such colossal battles.

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Angela Chen

Angela comes to the Coachella Valley as KESQ’s morning anchor after teaching graduate school classes at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication. Learn more about Angela here.

Jesus Reyes


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