Confetti, singing and cheering aren’t what you think of when you think of a hospital. But St. Jude isn’t just any hospital. And when patients receiving chemotherapy finish treatment, we celebrate with a No More Chemo party.
Treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at St. Jude usually lasts more than two-and-a-half years, which can seem like forever to a child. But Kayla stayed positive and upbeat, even during the hardest times. And in 2015, Kayla was finally finished.
“Kayla's No More Chemo party was truly a dream come true,” said her mom. “Two-and-a-half years ago we were told that the day would come, and when it did, we were flooded with all sorts of emotions — feelings of excitement, euphoria and utter amazement filled our hearts and minds.”
Kayla, who is now 12, visits St. Jude for regular checkups. She attends a performing arts school, where she takes jazz, ballet and tap.
Adam began treatment for leukemia at St. Jude when he was a junior in high school. Early on in his treatment, he began to raise funds and awareness for the hospital. “They’ve gone above and beyond for me,” Adam said. “It’s important for me to give back, because my family has been given so much at no charge. St. Jude values lives at all costs for no cost to any family.”
Recently, Adam and his family celebrated the end of his treatment with a No More Chemo party, surrounded by his care team, friends and family. For a while, Adam, who is now 19, thought he’d study business in college, but now he’s thinking about medicine or fundraising instead. “Adam wants to work at St. Jude after college,” said his mom. “He feels like he’s discovered his life’s purpose through his diagnosis. He has such gratitude to everyone at St. Jude.”
Five-year-old Mabry’s No More Chemo celebration at St. Jude was a long time coming. She’d been receiving leukemia treatment for more than half her life. But this spring, the day finally came.
“Thanks to St. Jude, we’re ready to watch Mabry grow up and be a strong beautiful woman and help change lives like St. Jude has for us,” her mom said.
Mabry loves singing and dressing up like a princess at every opportunity, and will come back to St. Jude for regular checkups.
Gideon was treated at St. Jude for a cancerous tumor called neuroblastoma, which requires an incredibly intensive treatment plan, especially for such a little guy. He endured chemotherapy, surgery, antibody therapy, radiation therapy and a bone marrow transplant — but his smile never waned.
Gideon’s dad said, “As soon as we got here, it was abundantly clear that St. Jude was by far the best place to be in a terrible, terrible situation.”
Gideon, who is 2 years old, recently concluded his rigorous treatment with a joyful No More Chemo party surrounded by his St. Jude care team and family, including his grandparents.
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