Sunday, April 13, 2008

St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital

My 3-year-old daughter participated in a Trike-a-thon on Friday to raise money for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. This is her 2nd year riding in this event and she had a great time (just look at her careening around this corner!). She topped last year's fund raising by about $10 and collected $152 for St. Jude's!

Uh oh, someone (or two!) is catching up!

This is a particularly meaningful fundraiser for us because 2 1/2 years ago we were parents with a baby that needed highly specialized medical care. When my daughter was 9 months old we discovered she had a mysteriously detached retina and at 11 months old she underwent surgery to re-attach it. Thank goodness for our local children's hospital, Children's Memorial, and her fantastic retina surgeon from Northwestern (there are only two or three doctors in the entire Midwest that even do such surgery on infants).

We are eternally grateful for these specialized children's facilities and the doctors and nurses that helped us through such a scary time. So if we can pass on the word (and help out) another wonderful children's hospital, like St. Jude's, we like to do it.

If you don't know much about St. Jude's here's a little history. It was founded by entertainer Danny Thomas and opened in 1962. It is a non-sectarian, interracial facility that covers the costs of care beyond that covered by insurance.

Located in Memphis, Tennessee, it is one of the world's premier centers for research and treatment of catastrophic diseases in children, primarily pediatric cancers. The mission of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is to find cures for children with catastrophic illnesses through research and treatment.

More than 4,000 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 maintains 56 beds for patients requiring hospitalization during treatment. To date, St. Jude has treated more than 17,000 children from across the United States and 60 foreign countries - from Argentina to China.

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