Thousands take steps to end childhood cancer

In communities across the country, thousands of people from all walks of life joined together on November 21 to take steps to end the threat of childhood cancer.

They were part of the second annual Give thanks. Walk. 5K to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. And they showed that even in a difficult economy, the fight against childhood cancer has not lost its supporters. And for many families touched by St. Jude, the event served as a way for them to give back to the hospital that helped their child … families such as the Witsoes.

Sean Witsoe came to St. Jude in 2008, for treatment of a brain tumor called medulloblastoma. His parents, Craig and Katie, had become monthly donors—Partners In Hope®—years ago, never thinking they might one day need the services of the hospital. But when they needed St. Jude, they found the very reason why they had begun supporting the hospital—a place that provides the best possible care for children and families enduring some of the most difficult times of their lives.

When the Witsoes heard about the Give thanks. Walk. they volunteered to organize one in their community of Dallas, Texas. Craig’s company, Lineage Power, hosted the event on its campus where more than 400 people—including other local St. Jude patient families—walked and ran and raised more than $135,000 for St. Jude, the largest total of any Give thanks. Walk. event.

Craig called it a proud and special day for his family and his community, a day he hopes to repeat next year.

 “Lineage Power, Chili’s Grill & Bar and many others jumped in with lots of energy and big hearts,” Craig said. “The result was fantastic.”

The success in the Dallas area was reflected in nationwide. More than 13,000 participants of some 40 events, and corporate supporters including Chili’s, Target, New York and Company and Brooks Brothers, helped shatter the fundraising goal of $350,000 and instead raised more than $1.1 million to help St. Jude continue its mission of finding cures and saving children.

If you missed the Give thanks. Walk. event in your area, you can still show your support for St. Jude by making a donation and by using social media to give your voice, your vision or your energy during the Thanks and Giving® campaign, which asks consumers to “Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not."


January 2010