Qua is the class joker. His favorite subject in school is science, especially physical science and biology. When he and his friends hang out, basketball is always a part of the conversation.
In early 2015, Qua’s family learned he suffered from a rare type of cancer called a desmoplastic small round cell tumor. They were devastated by the news, but Qua’s doctor was familiar with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “He told us that’s where he’d go if it was his child,” Qua’s mother, Tiffany, said. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened in 1962.
When I first got here, I had other patients — little kids and teens — talk to me about what to expect. And I thought, okay, I’m going to do that now for others, too.
At St. Jude, 18-year-old Qua’s treatment includes chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
When Qua first arrived at St. Jude, he appreciated the patients who sought him out to talk about St. Jude and treatment. Now, he’s doing the same. “When I first got here, I had other patients — little kids and teens — talk to me about what to expect,” said Qua. “And I thought, okay, I’m going to do that now for others, too.”
Qua can’t play basketball right now, but he’s looking forward to the day he can hang out with his friends and shoot a round. His favorite NBA team is the Golden State Warriors.
St. Jude joined forces with the NBA in 2009 to create Hoops for St. Jude — an annual, season-long fundraising and awareness campaign that unites the entire NBA community in supporting the St. Jude mission. The campaign culminates with a week-long celebration each spring, when teams, players and fans come together to raise money and awareness for St. Jude. This year, Hoops Week is March 20-27.