Chris Bridges and his family of five started their journey at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 2004 when his oldest daughter was diagnosed with sickle cell disease. Four years later, his youngest daughter received the same diagnosis.
Bridges joined the Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) as a parent adviser in 2011 and was elected the 2017–2018 PFAC chair.
“Being a part of PFAC helped me understand some of the things that other families face,” Bridges said. “Parents can help other parents who are starting their journey at St. Jude. It can be scary, but meeting others who have been in your shoes can make it a little easier.”
Bridges recommends other parents get involved with Patient Family-Centered Care and their initiatives.
“The time that you give is important because you are being a voice for the parents that who think they have a voice,” he said. “It is so important for the ones who have this opportunity to be that voice and to use it for all patient families. I would definitely recommend this to other parents. It takes a community.”
There are many benefits to becoming involved as a parent adviser. Bridges says he loves being able to improve St. Jude from the inside out and he hopes sharing his experiences will help other families. Bridges says he has made relationships and connections through PFAC with families from all over the world.
When he is not meeting with the PFAC or working in the St. Jude Pathology department, Bridges enjoys taking pictures, running, watching sci-fi movies and playing video games. He spends most of his time with his wife and three daughters.
“I thank St. Jude for being there for my family when we need them the most. If you, as a parent or caregiver, have an opportunity to be a voice for another family, use it.” Bridges said.