Heartland Child Helped by St. Jude's



Heartland Child Helped by St. Jude's
By: Wendy Ray

St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis helps thousands of children every year overcome diseases -- mainly cancer.

All the services are provided free of charge to families, which means the hospital relies on donations.
Heartland News has teamed up with St. Jude to raise money for the center, by giving away a dream home. Everything being used to build the house was donated. All the money raised in the "Dream Home GiveAway" will go directly to St. Jude, so it can continue to help children from across the country and here in the Heartland, get better.
Elvis Simmers from Advance is going there for treatments right now. He says the people at St. Jude are making him feel better. Life's been tough lately for 13-year-old  Simmers. He was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease in February. He just finished his eighth week of chemotherapy at St. Jude Children's Hospital. "Sometimes they make you sick," Elvis says. His mom, Julia Simmers says, "He was down to 89 pounds. He's up to 107 now, it's helping him, the knots are fading away." His step-dad Bobbie Wallace says, "Just seeing him suffer and have to go through it you wish it could be you instead of him."

Elvis has four more weeks of chemotherapy to go. Then he'll take a break for a month, and go back for radiation treatments until the end of September. Elvis, his mom, and step-dad are in Memphis Monday through Thursday for treatments. They take turns bringing Elvis's sisters and brother to visit him. It makes him feel better. Elvis also finds comfort in the staff at St. Jude. "I have a favorite nurse, her name is Cynthia," Elvis says. His mom can barely express her thanks for how much St. Jude has helped. "If it wasn't for them, we don't know what we'd do, they've been really good to help us," she says.

St. Jude doesn't just cover medical expenses, but also gives parents, like Elvis', a place to stay while their child is getting treatments. If you would like to give to St. Jude, you can in the dream house giveaway. You'll be giving to a great cause, and also getting a chance to win the dream home.

If you would like to help Elvis and his family, a special fund has been set up in Elvis' name at

First Commercial Bank
C/O Elvis Simmers
P.O. Box 850
Advance, MO 6330