I've worked for Y100 for a little over 4 months now. Since my 1st day on the job, i've heard every single person on staff talk about St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital and the incredible things they're doing. Quite frankly, i really didn't pay that much attention to it. Not because i didn't care. It's just that after 25 years in radio, i've worked closely with a ton of non-profit organizations, raising a ton of money for every cause under the sun and quite honestly after awhile, you become somewhat numb about it. Little did i know how visiting St. Jude's, meeting the patients, parents and caregivers would FOREVER change my life!
First, let me share with you a few things about St. Jude that i didn't know before my visit, things that make this particular non-profit organization, truly something special.
When a child goes to St. Jude for treatment, the family of that child is not asked to pay for 1 red cent of that treatment. Even if that family has medical insurance, it's usually not enough coverage to pay for treatment that could end up costing literally millions of dollars. That by itself, is an incredible financial burden lifted from the shoulders of that family. But the help, only begins there. Families are covered in regard to travel, housing, food and more. Even at Christmas, parents can go into a room at the hospital that is packed with (new) toys, games, stuffed animals, computer electronics and more. They can pick things that they would like to give to their child and again, it doesn't cost them a dime.
The hospital itself, is layed out like a family fun park. Bright colors on the walls, cool designs on the floors that look nothing like your typical hospital. They even have a special air filtration system so that the hospital doesn't smell like...well...a hospital. The entire staff from the doctors and nurses, right down to the person mopping the floors are some of the most incredible people i've ever met. You can't see them in real life but i know that there are invisible wings and halos attached to each one of these very special people.
Now, let me say a few things about the most important aspect of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital...The Patients. From babys who are just a few months old to the funniest little 5 year old girl i've ever met, singing the most beautiful song with her 2 year old sister while sitting on daddy's lap, not even realizing that in just couple months... she'll be gone. Gone from a tumor in her brain that is inoperable. Gone because we have not yet been able to find a cure for her particular disease. A disease called "Cancer". A horrible word that comes in a lot of different forms. Leukemia, Lymphoma, Carcinoma, Glioma. Most of which i cannot even pronounce. But it doesn't matter. They all fall under the same umbrella, CANCER! A simple word that tears families in shreds. A word i can no longer stand to read, write or pronounce. A word that should be abolished from our language.
I can't even scratch the surface when it come's to trying to explain to you all the incredible things i witnessed in Memphis. So, i'm asking you to take a moment and please click onto www.stjude.org and learn more about the incredible work these people are doing. Research that is freely shared with the world. Take a moment and think about your own child and be thankful it's not your family being torn into shreds by this horrific word called Cancer. And if your family has been affected by this horrific word, i sincerely hope and pray for you.