In my work, I have the great privilege of meeting and talking with many of the incredible families who turn to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for the care and treatment of their children.
They speak from the heart about how much St. Jude means to them and the impact the hospital has had on their lives. How St. Jude gave them hope that the battle for their child’s life could be won. And how the generosity of donors meant they didn’t need to worry about how to pay for that treatment — or even for travel, housing or food — because families never receive a bill from St. Jude for anything.
But they almost always mention something else: how much they appreciate that St. Jude encourages their kids to be kids — not patients with a terrifying illness — but girls and boys who want to run and play, go to school and hang out with friends. And who want to participate in that great rite of childhood — going trick-or-treating on Halloween.
So every year, St. Jude ensures that our patients and their siblings don’t miss out on this special event. Everyone from nurses and doctors to researchers and social workers to teachers from the St. Jude School and ALSAC employees, volunteer to make this a truly amazing day for our patient families.
I wish that each and every one of you could see the joy and wonder on the faces of the kids as they come by the decorated booths that line the hallways of the hospital, calling out “Trick or Treat” and getting a kick out of seeing the members of their care teams dressed up as pirates or their favorite video game and movie characters.
I wish you could see the smiles of their parents — and those of everyone at St. Jude — beaming at the excitement of the many princesses, comic book heroes and ninja warriors as their bags fill with candy and treats.
At times like these, I am truly grateful to every one of you who supports the mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Not only are you helping to fund the research needed to find cures for childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases, you are helping to provide exceptional care and treatment to children at a desperate time in their lives. And you are helping St. Jude make sure these kids and their families don’t miss out on precious childhood memories.