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Founder's Day

Celebrating the legacy of Danny Thomas and the opening of St. Jude more than 60 years ago

On Feb. 4, 1962, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital opened in Memphis, Tenn. It was all because of one man's dream — that "no child should die in the dawn of life."

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St. Jude founder Danny Thomas with a patient

Danny Thomas pictured hugging a female patient.

More than 60 years ago a hospital opened in Memphis

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

With St. Jude, Danny Thomas' vision ensured that 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 a family can focus on helping their child live.

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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 countries, one in five children with cancer will live.

Recently, St. Jude launched a historic six-year, $12.9 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.


Every child deserves a chance to live their best life and celebrate every moment. When you support St. Jude, you can help make cures possible for kids with cancer. Together, we can save more lives.

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4 supporters cheering at the St. Jude Memphis Marathon.

St. Jude supporters at the St. Jude Memphis Marathon


You are part of our legacy

For more than 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 at St. Jude can last up to three years or more with an average cost of approximately $450,000 including travel, housing and food

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


Because of your support, we can provide children cutting-edge treatments not covered by insurance, at no cost to families.

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Terre, Tony and Marlo Thomas against a white background

Terre, Tony and Marlo Thomas


A family's dedication

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


Help us fulfill our lifesaving mission: Finding cures. Saving children.® Everywhere.

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