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Founder's Day

Celebrating the opening of St. Jude over 60 years ago

On February 4, 1962, founder and entertainer Danny Thomas' dream came to life. It began as a wild idea and became an unlikely movement.


St. Jude founder Danny Thomas with a patient


Over 60 years ago a hospital opened in Memphis, Tenn.

The overall survival rate for childhood cancer was 20%, and hospitals were still segregated in much of the South.

With St. Jude, a new kind of care dawned. Children were treated regardless of their race, ethnicity, beliefs or a family’s ability to pay. To this day, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, so they can focus on helping their child live.


Our mission goes global

Today, treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall survival rate for childhood cancer in the U.S. to more than 80%. But we can do more. In many developing countries, fewer than one in five children with cancer will live.

Recently, St. Jude launched a historic six-year, $11.5 billion strategic plan — in the midst of a global pandemic — that will expand patient care and accelerate research in the U.S. and globally for children with catastrophic diseases.


It takes supporters

For over 60 years, supporters of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have been united around one purpose: that no child should die in the dawn of life. Treatments for pediatric cancer can last up to three years and cost an average of $425,000 — and up to $1 million per patient.

Unlike other hospitals, the majority of funding for St. Jude comes from generous donors.

Terre, Tony and Marlo Thomas against a white background

Terre, Tony and Marlo Thomas


It takes a family

Danny's children took up the mantle after he passed away in 1991. They have dedicated their lives to helping us continue our lifesaving mission: Finding cures. Saving children.®


Be a part of Danny's dream

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Use #forStJude to share what you love about St. Jude.



Help us fulfill Danny’s dream that "No child should die in the dawn of life."

Make a Donation


Carry on the mission wherever you go

Browse the St. Jude Gift Shop for apparel, kids' toys, office supplies and more.

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