Meet Slade


Slade, 6 years old, Alabama, acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Slade will talk your ears off about reptiles. He’s never met a snake he didn’t like. He’s a bright kid with a thirst for knowledge, and if a creature has scales, he’s interested. Cancer won’t keep him from the important stuff in life, like lizards.

In November 2012, on the family’s Thanksgiving vacation, Slade had an ear ache and a fever. His mom took him to an after-hours clinic, and the next thing the family knew, Slade was a patient of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). “And what a true blessing,” said Slade’s mom, Emily, “as St. Jude has a 94 percent survival rate for ALL.”

Slade has two more years of chemotherapy to go, but he’s already cancer free. Emily says Slade is her hero.

“I am so proud of the way he has handled himself through all of this,” said Emily. “How can a six-year-old go into a procedure with all those nurses and doctors around him and not be scared? But he never is.”

Slade doesn’t really have time to be frightened. There’s a world of turtles and lizards and snakes outside, and he wants to learn about every single one.