WHY $75? An excerpt from the story of St. Jude’s founding as told by Marlo Thomas, daughter of founder Danny Thomas:
My dad told us that in his neighborhood nobody ever went to a doctor. My grandmother had her 10 babies without a doctor; Dad was delivered by a horse doctor! Children in the neighborhood died from influenza, and one died from an infection by a rodent bite. My father’s baby brother lost an eye in a rubber band accident. I don’t think my dad ever forgot the injustice of all that. He always felt that every child had a birthright to good health care. And he came out of that immigrant family experience determined to make his mark in the world, and to be better able to provide for the family he would someday have.
But Dad had a rough start. Although he worked hard in nightclubs and on the radio, he wasn’t getting anywhere in his career. He told us about the time when he and my mom were about to have their first baby (me) – he had only $10 in his pocket, but it would cost $50 to get us out of the hospital. So my dad was feeling pretty hopeless and scared, and he went to church to pray. On that particular day, the sermon was about St. Jude Thaddeus – the Patron Saint of Hopeless Causes. So he prayed to St. Jude, asking, Please, please, give me a sign to help me find my way in life – just a sign that I’m going in the right direction, and someday I’ll build a shrine in your name. Then he took seven of the 10 dollars in his pocket and put it in the collection basket, and said to St. Jude, I need 10 times that amount to get my family out of the hospital. Shortly after that, he got a call to play a singing toothbrush in a radio commercial. The pay was $75. He had his sign.
Time passed, and after much success, my father knew it was time to fulfill his promise to St. Jude. He decided that the best way to thank the saint of the hopeless was to build a hospital to care for the most helpless of all: children with hopeless diseases. No matter how poor the child, my father decided – no matter their religion, no matter their race – the doors would always be open. And no child would ever be turned away because of a family’s inability to pay. Read full story here
The $75 is a reminder of the importance of stepping out in faith and the impact one person can have when he/she follows God’s call, no matter what that calling is.
Why St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital?
It’s hard to find a greater blessing in the mid-south than St. Jude, and that blessing extends far beyond the patients and their families. People from all over the world look to St. Jude as a source of hope and healing. The medical advances benefit us all, and the compassion and caring exemplified by the hospital are unmatched. As residents of the Memphis area, we want to honor their accomplishments and participate in their efforts. We also have very personal connections to St. Jude in Sarah Merriott, Matt Warren, Kyleigh Teeter, and Reid Russell. Heather’s father, Frosty Merriott, has supported St. Jude with monthly contributions for over 30 years in honor of his sister who passed away in 1963 at age 13 of Hodgkins Lymphoma. When St. Jude opened in 1962, the survival rate for Hogdkins was 50%. Today, 95% of children with Hodgkins survive, thanks in large part to St. Jude. Matt, Kyleigh, and Reid are family friends who have all been St. Jude patients. We met Matt’s family when we first moved back to Southaven years ago and he was undergoing treatment at St. Jude… Matt is now a healthy college student. Kyleigh, a 7th grader, is one of Karis’ good friends and is an excellent multi-sport athlete and all-around great kid… she is being followed by St. Jude after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor. Reid is a 4th grade survivor and leader of “Reid’s Jedi Council.”
St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend – Support the DC Team as St. Jude Heroes
The DC Team is committed to supporting the St. Jude Memphis Marathon weekend. Donnie ran his first FULL marathon at the New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon as a St. Jude Hero and has now completed his 4th half marathon as a St. Jude Hero. Donnie and Heather are already signed up to be 2017 St. Jude Heroes. We invite our friends to join us as participants, volunteers, or spectators. We promise you will be blessed! We would like to raise as much as possible for St. Jude in 2016. We have raised over $5,000 for the Memphis Marathon weekend and will continue through December. Please consider a donation: DC Team Memphis Marathon Page