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St. Jude patient Ava smiling outside on St. Jude campus.

Ava is a fighter and a champ

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When Ava was unsteady on her feet and having headaches, her parents expected a brain scan would rule out anything serious. Instead, they were in for a shock.

St. Jude patient Ava with a serious face outside.
St. Jude patient Ava smiling in a cozy chair during cancer treatment.

Five-year-old Ava had a cancerous brain tumor called medulloblastoma that had spread to her spine.


Referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, Ava underwent a second surgery, proton therapy and chemotherapy. 


She’s such a fighter. She’s such a champ. She’s tough, she’s strong, and I feel incredibly proud. She’s stronger than me. She’s stronger than anyone I know.

— Ava's father

St. Jude patient Ava smiling with her father in the winter snow.

St. Jude patient Ava and her father

St. Jude patient Ava smiling while held by her mother outside.

Her dad was extremely impressed by his daughter’s St. Jude care team. “I’ve never seen such professionalism and care,” he said. “They don’t do it because they want money, they don’t do it because it’s fun, they don’t do it because it’s easy, but because they really believe in helping kids. It can only be explained as a calling.”


Most of all, though, he’s impressed by his little girl — empathetic, adventurous Ava.

St. Jude patient Ava held and kissed by her mom outside.

Families, like Ava's, will never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.

St. Jude patient Ava smiling in her St. Jude tee.

Ava has now finished treatment and has returned home.


September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

We won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. With your support, we’ll be one step closer to that day. Join St. Jude in recognizing Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Let’s cure childhood cancer. Together.

Donate Now Learn About Childhood Cancer


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