St. Jude ensures that no family ever has to pay a single bill for treatment. Founder Danny Thomas created this hospital to make sure that anyone that needed medical attention could be treated regardless of their race, color, or ability to pay.
On the day of Thomas’s daughter’s birth, he only had $7 and some loose change in his pocket. After listening to a mass he decided to donate his $7 to the church collection box. To discharge his wife and new daughter from the hospital he needed $75. He prayed to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes, asking for help and guidance and in return, Thomas vowed to build a shrine in honor of St. Jude. The next day Thomas was hired for a radio opportunity providing him with the exact $75 he needed for the hospital.
In 1962, Thomas’s dreams became a reality when St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was opened.
Thomas decided to build his hospital in Memphis because of a tragedy that he had heard about. In Memphis, there was an African American boy that was hit by a bus. He was brought to four hospitals, but because of the color of his skin, he was turned away from each until he bled to death outside of the last hospital. This is when Thomas decided “No child should die in the dawn of life”.
This past week I was fortunate enough to travel to Memphis with my service sorority Epsilon Sigma Alpha to tour St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude is one of our sorority’s philanthropies.
I cannot put into words how incredible this hospital is. The first steps into the hospital are life-changing. The designers of the hospital wanted it to feel less like a hospital and more of a safe environment for the patients. Inside the entrance and off to the side are little red wagons for the younger patients to ride in. The hospital smell of usual hospitals is nonexistent. The walls are hand painted based on designs the kids wanted to view.
To witness all of the amazing work and research this hospital does is truly amazing. Not only do they spend countless hours researching cancer and other childhood diseases, they share their research with the rest of the world. If a child cannot be treated at St. Jude, they still want the child to be able to receive the same treatment wherever they may be.
In 1962 the survival rate of childhood cancer was 20%. Today, thanks to the research done at St. Jude, the survival rate of childhood cancer patients is at 80%.
For St. Jude to run every day they need donations.
$10 can help provide a new toy for hospital play areas or recreational areas at St. Jude housing facilities.
$30 can help provide a St. Jude family with meals for one day in the Kay Kafe, the St. Jude cafeteria.
$100 can help provide a pair of pediatric crutches, sized especially for children help them maneuver during treatment.
$250 can help provide one red blood cell transfusion; children undergoing treatment for cancer and other deadly diseases often need transfusions.
If you can't donate green, you can donate red. If you are ever in the area of St. Jude in Memphis you can schedule an appointment to donate blood. Or donate to your local Red Cross Blood drive donations.
To donate visit St. Jude's website.