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Ava's family traveled from The Bahamas to St. Jude for treatment

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St. Jude patient Abraham holds a framed photo of himself from when he was in treatment.
St. Jude commercial where patient Ava and her mother tell her St. Jude story

Ava appears in a St. Jude commercial, with her mother talking about her daughter's St. Jude story.


Ava's story

Around Easter 2022, Ava’s mom, Lakesha, noticed swelling on her daughter’s neck. At the pediatrician, bloodwork and an x-ray appeared normal.

But after a scan of Ava’s abdomen was also performed, Lakesha received terrible news. “I’m like, cancer? She is not hurting. She’s running up and down. She’s the same old Ava. She’s fine.

But Ava had neuroblastoma, a cancer that arises from nerve cells. It was Stage 4.

St. Jude patient Ava wearing a face mask and a pink bow on her head.
St. Jude patient Ava outside smiling while her mother hugs her.

St. Jude patient Ava and her mom


“It was the worst day,” said Ava. “Mom was crying. I was sad. I was scared.

The hospital near their home in the Bahamas was not equipped to offer 6-year-old Ava treatment, so her doctor referred her to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

St. Jude is hope, when others don’t seem to think there could be any way. It’s a long road. It’s hard. But St. Jude has gotten us through it.

- Lakesha, Ava's mom

A circle icon with a slash over a dollar sign, which indicates families never receive a bill.

Families, like Ava's, will never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — so they can focus on helping their child live.

St. Jude patient Ava wearing a purple tutu and holding her mom's hand.

Vivacious Ava is “outgoing, outspoken, very smart, catches on very fast,” said her mom.

Kids have a chance to play, to laugh. They don’t just make it all about cancer. St. Jude tries to give them a normal day, a normal life, and I love that.

- Lakesha, Ava's mom


When you support St. Jude, you can help make cures possible for kids with cancer, like Ava. Together, we can save more lives.

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