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Celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

We honor those of Asian, Hawaiian and Pacific Islander heritage who are part of our St. Jude mission: Finding cures. Saving children.®

See Their Stories

Background art by St. Jude patient Ty

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St. Jude patient Aspen with her family

St. Jude patient Riku hugging his mom.

St. Jude patient Riku with his mom in 2019


When is Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month?

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed a law that officially designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. Renamed Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in 2009, the celebration recognizes cultures from all across Asia and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, and their contributions to the United States.

See how our supporters of Asian, Hawaiian and Pacific Islander descent – from fundraisers to doctors – are leaving their mark by advancing the lifesaving mission of St. Jude.


Meet our fundraisers


Bleu Blakslee

Senior Philanthropic Advisor, Pacific Northwest – ALSAC

Heritage: Hawaiian

When she was 18, Bleu spent a year traveling the world with an internationally diverse community service group of 115 students from 16 countries – learning about culture and purpose to better understand the world before she decided what she wanted to do with her studies and career.



Bleu Blakslee.
Josh Colfer.

Josh Colfer

Senior Specialist - Digital Content Strategy – ALSAC

Heritage: Chinese-Hungarian-Mexican American

Josh came from a family of storytellers who made history rich and vivid. He grew up in Southern California hearing how his great-grandfather served as an ambassador to countries throughout the world on behalf of political leader Chiang Kai-shek, and how his grandmother courageously immigrated to the United States, navigating an unfamiliar country without any family during her high school and college years.  


Meet our doctors and researchers


Ching-Hon Pui, MD

Chair, Department of Oncology

Heritage: Chinese

Dr. Ching-Hon Pui is internationally renowned for his work to improve survival rates and the quality of life for kids with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer.

He’s coupled those efforts with a personal campaign to extend that advanced care to families around the world, including those in low- and middle-income countries.



Ching-Hon Pui, MD.

Amar Gajjar, MD

Chair, Department of Pediatric Medicine

Heritage: Indian

Throughout his career, Dr. Amar Gajjar has authored more than 370 papers, many of which have contributed to the improved clinical care of children with medulloblastoma and other pediatric brain tumors.

And all the while, he has steadily progressed in his career at St. Jude, helping lead a program that uses sophisticated imaging to diagnose and track medulloblastoma and other brain tumors.


Jun J. Yang, Ph.D.

Vice-Chair, Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Heritage: Chinese

Dr. Jun J. Yang is a pharmacogenomics expert and corresponding author of a study that is improving treatments for children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).



Jun J. Yang, Ph.D., with Shawn Lee, MD.

Dr. Yang and Dr. Lee, authors of ALL treatment study

Hiroto Inaba, MD, Ph.D.

Hiroto Inaba, MD, Ph.D.

Program Director, Pediatric Hematology Oncology Fellowship

Heritage: Japanese

Hiroto Inaba, MD, PhD, is an oncologist at St. Jude leading the Total Therapy 17 clinical trial investigating treatments for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and lymphoma. Dr. Inaba is also a 17th generation samurai.


Meet our supporters


AJ Rafael

Singer/Songwriter and St. Jude fundraiser

Heritage: Filipino

Musician AJ Rafael used to watch his father play the piano at churches in his community in California. Now he plays to honor his legacy, and supports St. Jude in the process.


Leticia Barr

Award-winning tech, education and parenting blogger and founder of

Heritage: Chinese

Leticia Barr's main goal in life is to inspire younger generations. She wants her kids to understand the world — and her support of St. Jude is part of the process of teaching them.


Tim Wang

Founder and principal of TDW+Co

Heritage: Chinese

Tim Wang serves on the Pacific Northwest Advisory Council of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude. Wang's sense of service is driven by his love for his community and his commitment to promote inclusivity in the world.


How you can help

St. Jude patient Avyan with his parents outside.

Celebrate family this Mother's and Father's Day

Our St. Jude families depend on you. See how you can help support them as you celebrate your own.

Learn More

A student setting up a fundraiser for St. Jude on her laptop.

Fundraise for St. Jude kids

Every dollar you raise makes a real impact in the lives of St. Jude kids and their families.

Start Fundraising

St. Jude employee looking and pointing to a laptop.

Start a career at St. Jude

St. Jude is a world-class research hospital seeking a diverse staff of faculty, researchers, clinicians, fundraisers and more.

Learn More