When Karen Talamas purchased tickets for the 2021 San Antonio St. Jude Dream Home® Giveaway, she never thought she’d beat the odds once, let alone twice. On October 28th, Talamas found out that she had won the annual raffle for a new house and a bonus prize, a $10,000 American Express gift card.
This year marks the 31st anniversary of the national program, which has become one of the largest single-event fundraisers for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Overall, the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway has raised more than $500 million for the patients and families of St. Jude. This year, the 8th annual fundraiser in San Antonio raised more than $800,000. The city has raised more than $7 million in total. These fundraisers make it possible for the research hospital to provide patients with free cancer treatments and for the organization to continue its life-saving research. According to stjude.org, cancer is diagnosed each year in about 400,000 children and adolescents ages 19 and younger worldwide.
Talamas and her husband, Patrick, had just sat down to watch Thursday night football when she received a text message from someone at St. Jude. Since they hadn’t watched the live broadcast of the drawing earlier that evening, they weren’t aware that she had won. The San Antonio grandmother said she had never won anything before. “I kept asking, is this a joke, is this real.” The St. Jude representative who called assured her that she was the winner and then invited the couple to tour the house that evening. “It was beautiful, a brand-new house, it was gorgeous.”
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