And Carnival Cruise Line, our Corporate Partner of the Year, who, in addition to committing to raise $10 million by 2021, showcased the artwork of 30 St. Jude patients in the design of their new cruise ship, Horizon, creating awareness for the St. Jude mission among their more than 5 million passengers.
The commitment shown to St. Jude by these and other partners, such as ANN Inc., Kmart, HomeGoods and Brooks Brothers, as well as radio partners KODA/Sunny 99.1 in Houston, Texas, and WLZL/El Zol in Washington, D.C., is truly inspiring.
We also honored some very special young people who know personally of the lifesaving mission of St. Jude. These are patients and ambassadors like Mary Browder who, just three months into treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, began sharing her story of pain, fear and, ultimately, hope with our supporters.
She received our Jerry Nicholson Award, named for a St. Jude patient from California who led fundraising campaigns in the early 1960s.
An award that is dear to my heart is the Richard C. Shadyac Sr. Award, named for my father, the CEO of ALSAC from 1992 to 2005. I wish he could have known patients Chandler and Courtney, the recipients of this year’s award.
He would have been so proud of all they’ve accomplished. Both Chandler and Courtney have courageously shared their St. Jude stories on many occasions.
Chandler also ran the half-marathon at the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend last December after completing treatment for brain cancer, and led his fundraising team to raise $6,700 for St. Jude.
Courtney has spoken openly and passionately about her lifelong battle with sickle cell disease, even traveling to Washington, D.C., to speak at the St. Jude Call to Service Reception during the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Leadership Conference.
Most people will never visit St. Jude to see first-hand the miracles that happen here every day. They won’t see the fear in a parent’s eyes or feel the palpable sense of relief that comes with remission and the end of treatment.
Nor will they witness the friendships made in our hallways. Lifelong friendships that have at their core that very thing worth celebrating — life. These patient ambassadors offer a first-hand glimpse into that world and for that we are truly blessed.
From all of us at ALSAC/St. Jude to all of you who offer your own time and talents and generosity for our kids, thank you from the bottom of my heart.