In January 2016, Azalea’s family learned she had rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of soft tissue cancer. They traveled from their home in Jamaica to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “We were familiar with St. Jude because of their commercials,” said Azalea’s mom, Simone. “We knew St. Jude was the best possible place for a child with cancer, and that’s what we wanted for her.” At St. Jude, Azalea’s treatment has included surgery and chemotherapy.
“We knew St. Jude was the best possible place for a child with cancer, and that’s what we wanted for her.”
Simone, Azalea's mom
Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90%, and we won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
Simone describes Azalea as a social butterfly, a little girl who is always happy. She loves coloring, Frozen and Minnie Mouse. Azalea also loves being a big sister. Shortly before Azalea was diagnosed with cancer, her parents learned they were expecting their second child, another girl. Baby Hadley, who is 4 months old, was born in Memphis.
“St. Jude saved our lives,” Simone said. “Not just Azalea’s life, but my life and her dad’s life. They saved our family.”