When a lump appeared on Jaiden’s neck, his mother, Starla, was concerned. The little boy never acted sick and the lump didn’t seem to cause him any pain, but it kept getting bigger. Jaiden’s parents took him to a local children’s hospital, where tests revealed he suffered from Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of lymph system cancer.
Jaiden was referred to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, where he would follow a lifesaving treatment plan. His family was familiar with St. Jude because a cousin had been treated at St. Jude as a child. Today, that cousin is a long-term survivor.
We already knew how good St. Jude was. I knew that’s where Jaiden needed to go.
“We already knew how good St. Jude was,” said Starla. “I knew that’s where Jaiden needed to go.”
Jaiden underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy at St. Jude. And when his family learned they would never receive a bill, they felt a weight lifted off their shoulders. 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.
Starla also appreciated that the hospital is a place where kids can be kids. “I didn’t expect St. Jude to look nice like this. Everything is decorated and everything pertains to the kids,” she explained.
Something to sing about
Watch Jaiden entertain his mom during one of his visits to St. Jude, where kids can be kids.
Jaiden is now finished with treatment and visits St. Jude for regular checkups. He loves watching televised wrestling and playing basketball. Jaiden just graduated from kindergarten, and is looking forward to starting the first grade in the fall.