Young Cancer Survivor Designs a Clayton Home and Tours Home Building Facility
East Tennessee Children's Hospital patient given chance to create floor plan during 'Team Jake' celebration

MARYVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Clayton, one of the largest home builders in America, helped fulfill the dreams of an East Tennessee Children's Hospital cancer patient by giving him the opportunity to design a Clayton home using CAD software commonly used at home building facilities.

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Jake Clark, 16, became an honorary member of the Clayton team on Nov. 22 during a special 'Team Jake' celebration event at a home building facility in Bean Station, Tenn. His interests in construction projects with his dad, a home contractor, and his talents in drawing and 3D design made Jake the perfect fit to visit Clayton. While visiting the home building facility, the cancer survivor sat with a home designer and created a home model floor plan of his own, which was named "The Jake" in his honor. 

"With our roots in East Tennessee, this local story especially hit home for us," Clayton CEO Kevin Clayton said. "Jake is an incredibly talented young man who has had a hard journey in life, yet he has never stopped pursuing his passions in art and construction. We were thrilled to host Jake and his family for the day, and show them how our homes are built."

Jake was suffering from what doctors believed was an infection for nearly two years. On Mother's Day 2013, he was diagnosed with Langerhans Histiocytosis (LCH), a rare cancer that affects multiple areas of the body. Jake endured two years of chemotherapy treatments and surgeries at East Tennessee Children's Hospital as an adolescent cancer patient. Today he celebrates almost four years of no treatment.

Prior to his diagnosis, Jake was never really creative. However, during treatment, he experienced a blood clot that shut down the left side of his brain for several weeks. While doctors were treating the clot, the right side of Jake's brain (the creative side) went into overdrive. Julie Clark, Jake's mom, believes that helped develop him into the creative person he is today.

Jake's day at Clayton Bean Station featured a full agenda that included tours of the facility to show him all the steps of the home building process, as well as a presentation of a framed photo of "The Jake" home that he helped design and several Christmas gifts. Jake plans to attend Ringling University in Florida to study computer animation and pursue his passion for graphic design and drawing.

About Clayton
Founded in 1956, Clayton is committed to opening doors to a better life and building happiness through homeownership. As a diverse builder committed to quality and durability, Clayton offers traditional site-built homes, modular homes, manufactured housing, tiny homes, college dormitories, military barracks and apartments. In 2016, Clayton built more than 42,000 homes. Clayton is a Berkshire Hathaway company. For more information, visit

About East Tennessee Children's Hospital
East Tennessee Children's Hospital's vision is Leading the Way to Healthy Children. Children's Hospital is a private, independent, not-for-profit pediatric medical center which has served the East Tennessee region for more than 80 years and is certified by the state of Tennessee as a Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center.

Jake Clark, a 16-year-old cancer survivor, is surprised with a behind-the-scenes visit to the Clayton Homes manufacturing plant in Bean Station, TN. His mother, Julie, stands by his side always, even shaving her head to show her support for her son when he was going through years of treatment at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.


Jake aspires to have a career in computer animation and spent time with the Clayton engineering department creating a blueprint of a house and learning how the homes are built. Little did he know, the home blueprint he designed could actually become an official Clayton floor plan.


Clayton general manager Charlie Hemphill presents Jake with a framed blueprint of his own home design.


"The Jake" home blueprint was printed and signed by the Clayton team for Jake to remember his visit to the Clayton building facility.


Jake and his family received personalized safety helmets and t-shirts to enjoy their personalized visit to the Clayton Bean Station building facility.