A walk can be much more than a casual evening stroll. It can foster unity, hope and change.
The St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer brings together participants in 61 cities across the country in September to raise funds and awareness to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The event will take place September 17, 24 and 25 in communities around the U.S.
This event has a very special meaning for 8-year-old Nicholas and his family.
Nic was 6 when he was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in his brain known as primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET). He was referred to St. Jude for treatment that included proton therapy and chemotherapy, which he completed in April 2015.
Nic’s family will participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer for the third consecutive year this September. Their team has raised nearly $60,000 during the past two years.
"We simply want to give back to St. Jude because they have done so much for us,” said Cristina, Nic’s mother.
Nic’s diagnosis was a familiar scenario for his family. Their older son, Trey, now in his 20s, was treated for non-Hodgkin lymphoma as a child at a hospital near the family’s home. They learned about St. Jude after he finished treatment.
“We knew that St. Jude was where we wanted to go with Nic,” said Todd, his father. “We thought, ‘We’ve got to get to St. Jude. That’s the best place.’”
This year, Nic’s team for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer will commemorate the five-year anniversary of the passing of another St. Jude patient, Alejandro. Nic and Alejandro’s sisters are best friends, and Alejandro’s family will be walking alongside Nic’s team this September.
"We want to recognize what their family went through," said Cristina.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join supporters across the nation to raise funds for St. Jude, where families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
"St. Jude doesn't just provide treatment,” Cristina said. “They provide everything without sending a single bill."