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Mom first, physician second

A physician, researcher and public health specialist who has done work in emergency medicine, epidemiology, bioethics and biostatistics, Sinola Rajaram, MD, has worked in both private and public health care systems. When cancer struck, Sinola searched the globe to find the place that would offer her son the best chance at life. Here’s what she discovered:

When I started looking for a place for Yeshaai’s treatment, I wanted to find an oncologist who was a researcher and who had extensive experience in dealing with medulloblastoma. I came across Dr. Amar Gajjar, who was well published and had excellent reviews and results. Medulloblastoma seemed to be his personal nemesis.

I quickly learned that the St. Jude support structure is critical to the hospital’s success. A team of dietitians, nutritionists, rehabilitation specialists, surgeons, oncologists, social workers and other staff members collaborate to provide the best outcome for patients. As a physician, I am impressed with St. Jude and its doctors and staff. Everyone is respectful and hopeful, and they have allowed us to be part of the team effort for our child. It’s absolutely phenomenal that St. Jude has managed to achieve this level of holistic treatment for its patients. That is the brilliance of the St. Jude system; it is the kind of holistic plan that doctors like me dream about.

I am a mom first, and all I have to do at St. Jude is hold my son and be by his side on this journey. My husband, Desmond, and I have a home-away-from-home at Target House, where we live comfortably and take care of our children. One cannot imagine our level of gratitude for the support available at St. Jude.

Our son is a hero. With unfaltering grace and patience, he accepts that these days and challenges are part of his journey toward a healthier body. I once read about Saint Jude being the patron saint of impossible causes. We arrived at the hospital with hope and with the belief that this impossible cause of our child was going to be attended to. We have not been disappointed.