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Meet Millie

age 4, kidney cancer


On the day before Father’s Day 2016, Millie and her dad were playing together when he noticed a lump on her side. At first, doctors thought it might be a bowel obstruction, but a CT scan showed it to be Wilms tumor: kidney cancer.

When their local children’s hospital discovered a spot on her lung as well, Millie’s pediatrician referred her to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 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.

“I felt like we cried every single day we were at that other hospital,” said her mom. “Once we got here, everything kind of fell into place.”

At St. Jude, Millie underwent multiple surgeries, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Millie’s mom says the best thing about St. Jude is how kid friendly it is.

I don’t have to worry about her being unhappy while we’re here. She’s always happy. You think if you’re in a hospital full of cancer patients, then it’s all gloomy, but it’s not. Kids run around the hallways laughing and smiling.
St. Jude patient Millie's mom


St. Jude patient Millie enjoys the festivities with volunteers during a visit to St. Jude.

Millie is outgoing, loving and “very sassy,” according to her doting parents. While in treatment, she loved to play hide-and-seek with her St. Jude care team. “It’s become a routine. All of them knew she would hide, so they’d play hide-and-seek with her when they came into the room. If they didn’t see her, they’d know she was hiding.”

Millie finished treatments in spring 2017 and now visits St. Jude for checkups every three months. She’s enjoying two big firsts in life. “She started pre-kindergarten in August and has made lots of new friends,” said her mom. “Plus, she became a big sister at the beginning of September, and needless to say, she’s loving every minute of that.”

St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. And stories like Millie’s are thanks to donors like you.


Help our families focus on their sick child, not medical bills.

When you donate monthly, your gift means families, like Millie's, 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.

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