Richmond mom with personal connection wins 2023 St. Jude Dream Home
“It’s hard to explain to a child that, this is something that you have to go through,” Naja said.
MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (WWBT) -An emotional victory with a far-reaching impact.
On Friday, our St. Jude Dream Home winner, Richmond mom Naja Kemp, could see her brand-new house for the first time.
Not only is this a win for Naja, but the donations are a win for the fight against childhood cancer, a mission critical to her personally.
She was watching NBC12 when she heard NBC12′s Candice Smith call her name and immediately got hit with a flood of emotions.
It’s a moment Naja Kemp will never forget, stepping into her new St. Jude Dream Home.
A $100 donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help support the fight against childhood cancer turned into a $465,000 miracle. This gift has a deeper meaning for Naja, which started 21 years ago when her son Tyriek was born.
“He was here before his personality. His teachers used to say that he was animated. He was very friendly. Smart, kind and perfect,” Kemp said.
That perfect personality never dimmed, even when Ty was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2009.
“It’s hard to explain to a child that this is something that you have to go through,” Naja said.
Ty participated in one of St. Jude’s clinical trials. Since then, Naja has continued to give back throughout the years, donating to their fundraisers and other families going through the same thing.
“Treatments and MRIs and CT scans, and you know someone always pulling at them, tagging at them and tugging, and he was truly amazing. He was a champ, a sport,” she said.
After fighting for 10 months, Ty died at 7, just one day before his sister’s birthday.
This new home is bittersweet for their family, but Naja maintained her faith all these years and said this was all possible with a hand from above.
“To know that this is mine, I say that this is God. I feel like, and this may sound completely off the wall, but I feel like he sent Tyriek down and said, ‘Here’s the ticket, right here, for my mom.’”
Watch below for the moment when St. Jude called Naja to tell her she won:
Thursday was the St. Jude Home Giveaway Day! For a list of all the winners, click/tap here.
Copyright 2023 WWBT. All rights reserved.