I don’t get paid by St. Jude, so you might wonder why I am so committed to spreading their message. It is because my heart gets paid everyday with the opportunity to work with such wonderful organization. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that St. Jude really changed my life.
I know I may sound like a broken record, but I do believe that unless you go through it, it would be hard to understand. Being a mom of a child with cancer, the experience is probably one of the worst things in the world (aside from maybe suffering cancer yourself). The disease is strong, it spreads, it’s unpredictable and there is no cure. So imagine seeing all this hurt in your child and not being able to afford care, provide comfort, or know what to do. Now, imagine there is a place where you literally don’t have to worry about anything other than spending time with your child? That place is called St. Jude.
Now, to be fair, my child never received treatment at St. Jude. He was fortunate to have surgery and receive treatment at an amazing local hospital, but even with top insurance coverage his treatment cost more than $20,000 in deductibles and the amount will continue to rise, as he will always need a special type of doctor visit or imaging scan. To many, that may be too much, even impossible, to endure. That’s where the blessing of St. Jude families comes in.
When a child enters the care of St. Jude, the cost of treatment is a non-factor. The hospital provides housing, meals, and in some cases schooling for the children that are receiving treatment. The families at St. Jude worry about nothing other than their family. This is a great relief to some of the burdens that cancer brings.
So you wonder, how can a child receive such treatment at St. Jude and who is paying for it. The children at St. Jude are often referred by doctors. Cases and types of cancer vary. Funding is by donation only. It is important to note that even if a child can’t receive treatment at St. Jude, St. Jude does share their research with hundreds of hospitals around the world. That’s why more than ever funding is important. When you donate to St. Jude, you are in part donating and helping children not just in the United States but all over the world. And this is all possible thanks to donations of people like you and me. Awareness IS HUGE. People don’t understand the rise of childhood cancer, which is why they are so focused on finding a cure for all types of cancer.
Last year when I had the blessing to visit St. Jude I almost didn’t take it. I didn’t think I could handle it emotionally, but I have to say, St. Jude is one of the most beautiful, calm, peaceful, and dare I say fun places I’ve visited. The care that the hospital has put into their children is beyond exceptional. I remember on one of the tours they told us a story about a child who didn’t want to eat anything at the cafeteria. The kitchen team reached out to this child’s home town and found the recipe to his favorite dish. They set out the mission to make this child feel at home. And that is sometimes the best feeling for these kids. Feeling like you are at home during such a hard time is no easy task, yet St. Jude provides that with such ease and impeccable class. They spare no detail in taking care of their children.
As this year passes I reflect on that trip and how amazing it was. I hadn’t been so inspired and blessed to be in such a place. I want to thank St. Jude for really treating not only their patients but also me, like family. I will never forget and I will continue to support them in their fight against cancer.
If you want to be part of the solution and create more awareness for childhood cancer, please join us this Saturday at the St. Jude NYC walk. If you are not in NYC you can still help by donating to the cause. Any dollar counts. Thank you!