House raffle to benefit leukemia society

When U.S. Soldier Branch Dildine was reassigned to an active duty unit in Vicksburg, Miss., he and his wife were undecided about whether to sell their Pelham home.

The Dildines held on to their three-bedroom, two-bathroom house at 280 Cove Place until they got involved with the Mississippi Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. That’s when they decided to raffle their home for a good cause. They named the raffle fundraiser House for a Cure.

On March 11, the Dildines will host an open house from 4-6 p.m. for those interested in a tour. Though the date of the raffle has not been set, tickets can be purchased now for $100 each. Only 2,500 tickets are available. All proceeds will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Branch said the society’s donations are down this year due to the economy. Without donations, funding for cancer research projects takes a hit. The fewer cancer research projects, the longer it takes to find a cure.

“Our biggest concern is whether there will be enough federal dollars for research,” Branch said. “When you think about kids who catch this blood cancer at age four or five years old … wow. Once you’ve known someone who’s had leukemia, you see it everywhere.”

On the House For a Cure Web site, the Dildines chronicle the story of Serenity Lane, a seven-year-old the couple met after moving to Mississippi. When Serenity was four, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, and endured oral and intravenous chemotherapy treatments. On Sept. 12, 2007, Serenity took her last chemotherapy pill, and her cancer is in remission.

Branch said it is blessing he and his wife can help Serenity and other children like her by simply giving back. He added the raffle will not only benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but also a family that needs a home.

“This is a great house and great location for a family that may be renting or thinking they can’t afford a house,” he said. “With only 2,500 tickets, the odds are good. We’re blessing somebody with a house, we’re blessing the leukemia society, and we’re blessing ourselves.”

For more information, call 601-862-2892 or visit the Web site www.houseforacure.com.