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Meet Emily

St. Jude patient Emily and the band Alabama Shakes make music to cleanse the soul.


Seventeen-year-old Emily and her older sibling, Callie, have been making music together for about as long as Emily can remember.

St. Jude patient Emily with her sibling Callie

St. Jude patient Emily (left) and her sibling, Callie, perform together in 2008.


Music has been my everything my whole life.
It’s always been something — when I’m feeling down — I can sing with my sibling, and it just gives me a feeling that everything is gonna be OK.

St. Jude patient Emily (left) with her sibling, Callie

St. Jude researcher

In April 2016, Emily was found to have acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), an extremely rare subtype of leukemia, and was referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.


Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. 

St. Jude patient Emily with mom and sibling.

Emily with her mom, Suzette (left), and her sibling, Callie


Dear @Alabama_Shakes ...

Tweet to Alabama Shakes

While Emily was in treatment at St. Jude, one of her favorite bands, Alabama Shakes, came to Memphis for a concert. Both siblings are fervent fans of the band, so Callie reached out to them via social media, on behalf of Emily, to ask if they would visit St. Jude.


On July 15, 2016, Alabama Shakes
arrived at St Jude.


It was really enlightening coming (to St. Jude) ... you walk in and there’s kids being kids, there’s laughter, there’s art and music going on. It’s actually a really great and hopeful place to be.

Brittany Howard, lead singer of Alabama Shakes


'Music has the power to heal'

During Alabama Shakes' visit to St. Jude, they put on an impromptu performance with Emily and Callie. Watch the video.

St. Jude video

My soul is cleansed. I got to sing with some of my favorite people in the world.

St. Jude patient Emily, on singing with Alabama Shakes during their visit to St. Jude

St. Jude patient Emily and her sister Callie

St. Jude patient Emily and her sibling, Callie, perform together at the 2017 St. Jude Jam.

Emily finished treatment in December 2016 and visits St. Jude for regular checkups.
She still enjoys making music with her sibling, and she recently started college.


Music changes lives — so can you

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