September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and there's no institution that is more aware and fighting on the front lines for the welfare of children than St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Cancer still remains the highest disease of causing death among children ages 14 and under. More than 300,000 children across the world are diagnosed with cancer every single year. Because of these unbelievable statistics, St. Jude continues to develop more clinical trials for childhood cancer than any other known children's hospital in the United States. And they share all their research and findings with doctors and hospitals all over the world. Ending childhood cancer and saving lives is their main priority, and they never charge a family any amount of money to treat their child. St. Jude is run entirely off of donations. It has always been their core belief that parents should never have to worry about the cost of medical treatment, their only concern should be the caring for and healing of their child.
Hollywood actor and legend Danny Thomas was devout in his faith, being a member of the Catholic church. Struggling as an actor trying to support his family, he prayed to the patron saint of hopeless causes, St. Jude Thaddeus. He pleaded to the saint that if he would show him the way to go with his life he would honor that and “build a shrine to him,” (pay it forward). As we know, Thomas became a radio, television and film star and he stayed true to his promise. He wanted to make life better for thousands of sick children and their families and the idea of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital was born. He reached out to business leaders in the city of Memphis, Tennessee and thus began over a decade of fundraising and construction. The formation of the ALSAC was born as its sole purpose to raise the funds needed to support the hospital. St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital opened its doors to the public on February 4, 1962, with Danny's driving purpose that "no child should die in the dawn of life." In the years since it’s opening, with the doctors, nurses and scientists and their relentless efforts to save lives, St. Jude’s has helped take the childhood cancer survival rate from 20% when it opened, to now 80%!
There are unfortunately many types of cancer, but the most common among children, the ones that hospitals like St. Jude see the most cases are:
There are so many ways that we can support the efforts of St. Jude as they continue to make groundbreaking medical discoveries in the fight against childhood cancer and minister to children and their families without charging them for their treatments. Check out the ways you can be a supporter, from sending in money to hosting a fundraiser or fitness walk.
Let’s do everything we can to bring awareness and support to organizations like St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital so we can see precious lives saved and cancer eradicated in this generation!
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