Beyond the hospital bed: the journey of a St. Jude patient's family

By Anna Yee

March 13, 2013 Updated Mar 13, 2013 at 6:54 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Everything changed for 15-year-old Noah Cook last year.

In April, Noah noticed his gums were swollen, and after a trip to the orthodontist, his time went from country living in Leachville, Arkansas to fighting for his life in Memphis, Tennessee.

"Within 30 minutes, they had him on an ambulance on the way to St. Jude," said Tommy Crawford, Noah's dad.

Noah was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Doctors at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital first said his survival rate was only 15%, but he's beating those odds.

"He's country to the core," said Crawford. "Very strong boy. You can't break him. He won't break"

Noah is still at St. Jude battling complications from leukemia.

He was undergoing treatments at the time of our visit, but after
talking with loved ones, it's clear Noah's journey has become a marathon for his whole family going through the ups and downs of the waiting game.

"The downs are horrible," said Crawford. "I personally just have to get away. I'll go to the bathroom and just let it out. I don't cry in front of my kids."

Noah's younger sister Bailey has had to step up her role too.

"Me seeing him in the hospital bed makes me cry," said Bailey, "but I'm always the one who makes him smile."

St. Jude treats nearly 300 patients a day.

That's why the hospital tries to help both children, and their families, feel a little more at home with opportunities like celebrity meet and greets and special parties every week.

"They go above and beyond all my expectations that I've ever dreamed of," said Crawford.

Not to mention, no family ever pays for anything, thanks to your donations, a concept even a 7-year-old like Bailey is thankful for.

"Because it's helping other children, and that's the best part I like about that," said Bailey.

And it helps Noah and his family as they fight his battle against leukemia, together.

"He'll tell you we will beat this," said Crawford. "No one fights alone. We will beat this."

One of the biggest fundraising efforts for St. Jude patients like Noah and his family is the Dream Home giveaway.

You can get a sneak peak of the Peoria Dream Home Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Tickets, for $100 a piece, are still available until the winning ticket is drawn in exactly one month.

For more information, visit www.stjude.org/dhpeoria or click on the link above.

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