St. Jude Patient's Life Saved by the Hospital

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

For the third year in a row, WBKO is a sponsor of the St. Jude Dream Home giveaway.

In the month's leading up to the giveaway we'll tell you more about the hospital and patients.

Roman Ziegler seems like your average seven-year-old.

"I like to ride on my four-wheeler and I like to play with my friends at recess," Roman said.

Roman was born in Kentucky and now lives in Tennessee, where he just finished up the first grade.

In August 2006, Roman's mother noticed a lump on the side of his neck that he nicknamed "meatball." She hoped it was just a fatty tissue, but tests revealed it was Hodgkin's disease.

"They told us one in two million kids get it his age. That was probably the worst day of my life getting that phone call," Roman's mom, Heather said.

Roman was sent to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

"I thought I was never gonna get cured. That's what I thought," Roman said.

Three to four times a week, Roman received treatment at St. Jude.

"I just had to get needles stuck and go in chemo, and when I was done with chemo we did radiation," Roman said.

He said it was his doctors and friends that got him through his hard time, especially a classmate back home. The friend knew Roman could possibly lose his hair from chemotherapy.

"This is how we became best friends. He shaved his head for me and then that night I shaved my head and the class thought up a new name - the Balding Boys," Roman explained.

On February 9, 2007, almost six months after walking through the doors at St. Jude, Roman found out he was cancer-free and was placed in remission.

"That was the best news I could've heard. I remember being on pins and needles and just praying, 'please let this be it,'" Heather said.

Roman said there's a lot to be thankful for when it comes to St. Jude.

"... That the doctors and nurses help cure all the kids and make them in remission," Roman explained.

Once Roman was found to be cancer-free the hospital threw him a "coming out of chemo party."

He now goes back to St. Jude every six weeks for a check-up to make sure everything is okay.

As for his future, Roman said he wants to become a train conductor one day.

Meanwhile, 1,200 tickets have been sold for the St. Jude Dream Home in Bowling Green so far, which is valued at more than $400,000 and is being built in Olde Stone.

Tickets are available through Sept. 16, 2007, at Houchens stores, IGA food stores, and Hancock Fabrics.

Other prizes you could win include free groceries for a year and a $5,000 shopping spree at Thornton's furniture.


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