St. Jude is truly an incredible place. I was lucky enough to take part in a seminar at St. Jude a few years ago, and a few things really stuck with me.  St. Jude is truly like no other place on earth. Their commitment to helping children is unparalleled. In fact did you know that when St. Jude opened their doors in 1960 the overall childhood cancer survival rate was 20%, but today that survival rate sits at just over 80%.   St. Jude won't stop until no child dies of cancer.

Our annual St. Jude Radiothon is going on, and as sad as some of the stories you'll hear are, St. Jude is an amazing  place FULL of hope.  I was lucky enough to get to visit St. Jude in 2014, and go to a seminar for the radiothon, I have to say it was one of the most fulfilling things I've ever had the opportunity to experience.   Let me share with you what I learned at St. Jude.

"No child should die in the dawn of life." - Danny Thomas

1) No family is ever charged for anything they receive from St. Jude.

St. Jude wants to make sure that the family is completely taken care of, and that the only worry they have is to make sure their child gets better.  That's it.  No one will ever receive a bill from St. Jude.

2) St. Jude isn't a hospital.

In my experience with hospitals, they tend to all have this very serious and "medical" feel to them.  The decorations are very minimum, if any, and they have this certain "sterile" kind of smell, that doesn't comfort or remind me of good times.  St.  Jude is none of those things.  When you take a step into St. Jude you forget that you are in a hospital.  St. Just looks like this amazing fun place that people want to be.  The lobbies and waiting rooms are bright, and colorful, and have activities, and games, and fun things in them.  The kids can forget that they are being treated for serious illnesses, and instead can focus on being a kid while receiving the life saving treatment they need.

3) St. Jude isn't a sad place

Before going to St. Jude I had seen telethons for St. Jude, and I know it can be so easy to focus on the sad stories you've heard, and think that St. Jude must be this very somber place. I mean it's a place that specializes in childhood cancer. I  can't think of anything that breaks my heart more than thinking of a child dealing with cancer.  But St. Jude is actually a very happy place.  For one the environment of St. Jude alone, is this bright, happy place full of opportunities for the kids there.  I really cannot find the words to explain it other than hope.  St. Jude truly is a place of hope, not sadness.

4) St. Jude's research is not just kept to themselves.

St. Jude is a research hospital, as they're treating children, they're also doing research.  When St. Jude finds a breakthrough in treating a disease, their research is then sent out across the country free of charge, because they have a dream of ending childhood cancer for good.  Before St. Jude opened in 1962 Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) had an overall survival rate of just 4%.  Now, thanks to the research at St. Jude the survival rate of a child with ALL is at 94%

5) There's a statue of Danny Thomas (founder of St. Jude) and you can rub his nose for good luck.

This one is more of a "fun fact!" but I thought it was really cool.  His nose is missing a lot of paint at this point, but that just means he's brought a lot of luck to a lot of people! On the real though, Danny Thomas truly was an amazing man with a vision to help end childhood cancer, thanks to St. Jude that vision is closer and closer to becoming a reality.

"Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life, or accomplish for yourself. It's what you do for others." -Danny Thomas

It costs $2 million  a day to run St. Jude, and 70% of St. Jude's funds are from private donors, people like you becoming Partners in Hope. It's only $19 a month, and can help to ensure that in our lifetime we see the end of childhood cancer. Become a Partner in Hope now by calling 1-800-372-4999 or text JUDE to 626262. Your $19 monthly gift on your debit or credit card will get you a "We Won't Stop" t-shirt.

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