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St. Jude Patient Ambassador Visits Southern Living Idea House

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St. Jude’s Ambassador Mae McNally visited the nation’s only 2013 Southern Living Idea House at Fontanel being built by Castle Homes. (Photo by Sarah Lee)
After a tour by Castle Homes Superintendent Josh Smith, Fontanel’s Laura Lacy, St. Jude Ambassador Mae McNally were serenaded by Steven Whitson at the Southern Living Idea House. (Photo by Sarah Lee)
After a tour by Castle Homes Superintendent Josh Smith, Fontanel’s Laura Lacy, St. Jude Ambassador Mae McNally were serenaded by Steven Whitson at the Southern Living Idea House. (Photo by Sarah Lee)

Friday was an exciting day for the nation’s only Southern Living Idea House at Fontanel in Nashville which Castle Homes is honored to be building. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the benefiting charity of the national event, has named six-year-old Nashville patient Mae McNally as a patient ambassador for the exciting project. Mae, her mom and her sisters, Lucy and Winn, were given a VIP tour by Castle Homes site superintendent Josh Smith.

Mae will also be on hand to help the design team choose the patient art to adorn the walls of the Southern Living Idea House Resource Center and help plant the garden. Her experiences will be highlighted in special blog posts on southernliving.com. Her involvement will help bring to life the lifesaving mission of St. Jude throughout the house for the thousands of people expected to visit this year.

Mae, who was born in Nashville, was diagnosed with Wilms tumor, a cancer of the kidney, when she was just four years old. Mae’s family initially sought treatment at a local hospital. When her cancer returned Mae’s family went to St. Jude where children fighting cancer and other deadly diseases are treated with pioneering research and exceptional care. After undergoing extensive treatment Mae has recently been deemed cancer-free and was able to return home.

Southern Living Idea House St. Jude Ambassador Mae McNally and her sisters pose by the reclaimed sliding barn doors Castle Homes just installed as main house kitchen doors. (Photo by Sarah Lee)
Southern Living Idea House St. Jude Ambassador Mae McNally and her sisters pose by the reclaimed sliding barn doors Castle Homes just installed as main house kitchen doors. (Photo by Sarah Lee)

“Partnering with Southern Living on this exciting project, allows an opportunity for the public to help more patients like Mae receive treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – where no family ever pays the hospital for anything,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Mae, whose charming personality and infectious joy make her a great fit for this project; will serve as a tangible link at the Idea House to the many children receiving groundbreaking treatment at St. Jude.”

Castle Homes will complete the build of the Idea House by mid-May and then project designer and Southern Living Contributing Editor Phoebe Howard takes over the interior design. It will be open to the public for tours beginning June 29th on Wednesday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $12. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Artwork created by St. Jude patients will be showcased in the Idea House which is located at 4133 Whites Creek Pike in Nashville, TN 37189. A feature on the home is scheduled to appear in the August issue of Southern Living.

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