This weekend I was honored to attend the 2013 St. Jude Children’s Hospital Celebration of Hope Seminar Weekend. The weekend gathered African-American media professionals, radio personalities and executives, bloggers and clergy from across the country to learn about the work and impact of St. Jude on children’s cancer research. St. Jude is close to my heart because it’s right here in Memphis, but beyond sitting up at 2 a.m. crying over their infomercials, many only see the tip of the iceberg of what this global hospital does. I’m a donor and volunteer, and since my attendance last year, I’ve been blown away even more by the compassion and dedication the entire staff has for their patients and families.
Here are a few facts you may not know about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital:
- St. Jude served both whites and African Americans, which is especially trailblazing due to its opening during the Civil Rights Movement in 1962.
- Donors’ contributions count, big or small. It takes 1.9 MILLION a day to run the hospital, but the average donation is $30 or less.
- Hydroxea, the drug which treats children and adult with sickle-cell anemia, was developed at St. Jude. It’s estimated that hydroxea cut the overall annual medical expenses and hospitalizations by 21 percent.
- There are three resident shelters for children and their families who receive long-term treatment at St. Jude: Target House, Grizzlies House and the Ronald McDonald House.
- No family who receives treatment at St. Jude receives a bill for anything. Travel costs, treatment and lodging is free of charge.
- Meals are customized for children by chefs, including five-star chef, Miles McMath
- The Teen Art Gallery houses artwork by patients, which serves as an artistic outlet and therapy.
The closing dinner, emceed by Roland S. Martin, featured performances by St. Jude supporters, gospel artists, Sheri Jones Moffet and Jason Nelson and R&B singer/songwriter, Marsha Ambrosius. Take a look at my exclusive interview with Marsha about her visit to Target House.
A few pics with Jason Nelson (bottom left), Marsha Ambrosius and fellow bloggers/writers, Christine of Moms N Charge, Jawn Murray of Always A-List,Jasmine of Black Celebrity Giving, Ericka Boston, Britt Middleton of Bet.com, and Candace of BellaOnline. We had a blast!
Special thanks to the St. Jude and ALSAC for a wonderful event! Check out the event hashtag, #SJCelebrate on social media to get an inside peek.