MOVE for St. Jude

Giving back is a big part of our MOVE community and I am excited to get the opportunity to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with our MOVErs, friends, and family.

 

The Beginning:

I was first introduced to St. Jude the winter of my sophomore year of college at University of Wisconsin – Madison. My sorority’s national philanthropy was the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. While I had heard of the organization before, I had never gotten the chance to learn in depth on how life-changing the hospital really was. Through our sorority, I learned just how impactful the research hospital is for patients and families affected by childhood cancer. Some of the points that stood out most to me during this time were:

  • * Cancer is diagnosed each year in about 175,000 children ages 14 and under worldwide.
  • * Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease past infancy for U.S. children
  • * However, thanks to better therapies, more than 80% of U.S. childhood cancer patients now become long-term survivors.
  • * About 420,000 childhood cancer survivors live in the U.S., with many more around the world.
  • * About 7,800 active patients are seen at St. Jude yearly, most of whom are treated on a continuing outpatient basis as part of ongoing research programs. The hospital also has 78 beds for patients requiring hospitalization during treatment. St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and from around the world.
  • * Patients at St. Jude are referred by a physician, and nearly all have a disease currently under study and are eligible for a clinical trial.
  • * The hospital’s daily operating costs are $2 million, which are primarily covered by public contributions. St. Jude has more than 3,600 employees.

 

 

Fundraising for St. Jude:

After a year and a half of fundraising efforts on behalf of our chapter as the Philanthropy Chairwoman, I was invited to visit and tour the hospital in Memphis, Tennessee out of recognition of what we had accomplished for the organization.  The chance to see the facility first hand was so inspiring and reassuring to see where all our efforts had gone and ways that families were impacted. My favorite part about the tour we received was hearing about the traditions of the hospital that encourage happiness and celebration even in light of the struggles these kids are going through.  For example, every patient that completes their chemotherapy celebrates their last dose with a “No Mo’ Chemo”Party with all the nurses and doctors alike. If you are ever in the Memphis area I highly encourage you to check out the hospital – tours are available for schedule here: https://www.stjude.org/about-st-jude/visit/tours.html

Running for St. Jude:

Once I had completed my term as the Philanthropy Chairwoman I still had a desire to give back to St. Jude at an individual level since I was so inspired by everything I learned during my term. I chose to run the St. Jude Memphis Marathon as a St. Jude Hero by pledging to fundraise during my journey to 26.2. The amount of support I was able to generate in my local community was so humbling. I was able to raise over the amount that I had pledge to my campaign thanks to the generosity of those who believed in the cause.

When it came time to run the race I had decided to run each mile in memory of a close family friend’s son, Sammy, who had just recently passed at the age of 5 from Lymphoma. Sammy was such a special soul and so strong. Those last handful of miles are such a challenge but knowing how strong Sammy was through his life is what kept me going even when it got hard. I will never forget the middle of the race that led us through the hospital campus and waiting for us there were the patients and their families cheering us on in gratitude.

MOVE for St. Jude:

My support and connection with St. Jude has continued over the years but I can’t wait to invite my MOVE family to be a part of it. I hope you can join me on Aug 6th for a workout benefitting the patients and families of  St. Jude Children’s research hospital. The workout is donation based and 100% of the proceeds will go towards funding the operations and facilities of the organization. I am so grateful for your support and generosity.

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