How St. Jude Changed My Life
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How St. Jude Changed My Life

All I have to say is, thank you, St. Jude.

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How St. Jude Changed My Life

A tiny red dot on my forehead. That’s all it was.

Beginning as what my parents thought was nothing, turned into what would develop into a life chaining event. The dot continued to grow, and eventually it took up a large majority of room on my 18 month forehead. 

Whenever my parents took me out, I wasn't fawned over like most children. Strangers would stare and whisper in huddled groups. While babies were “ooooooooo-ed” and “awwww-ed” over, they weren't looking at me, never me. 

My red dot was called a hemangioma, a typically benign tumor that was beginning to cause some serious problems. The tumor was raised and according to doctors, it would soon disrupt nerves in the back of my eyes - possibly causing me to loose my vision. Deciding to take immediate action, the doctors knew that something had to be done: it had to be removed. 

Back in the 90's, not much was known about my condition and no doctor would agree to perform the risky surgery. Searching high and low, my parents scrambled to find someone willing to take on this task. Finally, they found a promising doctor in Los Angelos who accepted their plea. This doctor worked out of a non-profit children’s hospital, much like the Ronald McDonald house or St. Jude. 

When we arrived in California, my parents, naturally, were nervous wrecks. My surgery was considered to be a high-risk procedure that most doctors would have had advised against. However, without it, my childhood would be difficult. Thanks to the charity of St. Jude, my parents were able to acquire peace of mind as the hospital covered most of the surgery expenses and allowed us to stay there free of charge.  

My surgery went smoothly. There were no complications and all that was left in the remnants of a once hindering tumor was a a small scar running down my forehead. 

Thanks to St. Judes hospital, I was be able to live a normal childhood. I was able to attend birthday parties, see colors, ride bikes and run around like any other girl my age. I cannot describe to you how lucky I was to have had such a life altering medical procedure. I am blessed to have had St. Judes. 

Looking back on baby pictures, I occasionally remind myself that without that hospital agreeing to take me on, I would be a totally different person. Over the years, I've kept that hospital visit in the back of my mind. While my scar is barely visible, it's a constant reminder of the impact that their kindness has had on my life.

When I was going through rush, I knew that I would want to be a part of a sorority that gives back to the community, but I never expected to be able to do so much. My sorority, Tri Delt, pledged to raise 15 million dollars for St. Jude in five years, but we met our goal in only 3.5. We have raised over 27 million dollars for the hospital, who in return, named a wing of their new hospital in Memphis after us. Looking back on my story, I am so grateful to have such a meaningful philanthropy because I know just how much my life has changed thanks to the donations and love of people I do not even know. Giving back is so rewarding, especially when I get to give back to St. Jude.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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