May 15, 2003 at 7:14 PM CDT - Updated June 20 at 3:37 PM
Stories of Hope: Dennis Debose By: Wendy Ray
(Memphis, TN)--Most ten year old boys' days revolve around school and other activities. But one Tennessee boy, spends two days out of the week at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, getting treatment. Dennis Debose is no stranger to St. Jude. He's been going there for two years, but the good news is he's getting better.
Ten year old Dennis has high hopes. He wants to be a preacher when he grows up. But for now, the focus is on getting Dennis better. He was diagnosed with leukemia in October of 2000. "He has been in remission now almost since he was diagnosed," his mom Mary says. When they got to St. Jude, Mary didn't know what to think. "I felt there was nothing they could do really," Mary says. "But after I came here for a while, I saw parents smiling and I thought, why?" It didn't take long for Mary or Dennis to feel at ease. "Every time he would get sick, they would all come in and make him feel comfortable," Mary says. "He got to a point where he would say, momma, I'm staying at the hospital."
Dennis is at St. Jude two days a week, one day for lab work, the other for chemotherapy. But we caught up with him during his downtime. He also gets to have fun while he's there. "I play computer, ride tricycles and watch TV," Dennis says. St. Jude is also covering the cost of his medicine. "They have very expensive medicine and I know if it wasn't for St. Jude, I couldn't afford it," Mary says.
Dennis says he feels better since he's been going to St. Jude, for he and his mom it's a place of comfort. "It's fun. You can make new friends," Dennis says. "I love them," his mom Mary says. "I've met a lot of new friends. We invite each other to church and things like that. If they can help, they will."
Dennis usually goes to St. Jude on an outpatient basis. When we met him, he was in the hospital because he had an infection in his line, where nurses draw blood. But other than that, everything else looks good.