Camila and her family live in Puerto Rico. She likes to draw, paint and read.
When Camila was 9 years old, she began experiencing pain in her knee. Her parents took her to their local pediatrician when a series of tests revealed Camila suffered from osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.
Camila and her family traveled from Puerto Rico to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she underwent chemotherapy in addition to a surgery to remove the tumor.
“I would describe St. Jude as a magical place,” said Roxanne, Camila’s mother. “Here, you forget that you’re at a hospital and become a member of the family. You feel the love.” Families 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.
Today, Camila is finished with treatment and returns to St. Jude for regular checkups. She is a happy girl who likes to dance.
When Sofia’s family learned she suffered from neuroblastoma, they traveled from their home in Ecuador to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for her care. They arrived in April 2014. At St. Jude, Sofia’s treatment has included chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immune therapy, and a transplant where she received her mother’s natural killer cells (NK cells).
Despite sometimes difficult treatment, Sofia loved coming to the hospital, where she could play with the friends she made or make arts and crafts with volunteers. One event Sofia especially enjoyed was the Halloween celebration at St. Jude. Sofia loved dressing up like the Flash and trick-or-treating at St. Jude, where staff dresses up and hands out candy every Halloween.
Families 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. “It was overwhelming to learn everything would be taken care of,” said Sofia’s mother. “But that meant we could focus on Sofia getting better.”
Sofia is done with treatment and home in Ecuador, where she’s planning on dressing up and trick-or-treating with her siblings. She visits St. Jude every six months for scans. “St. Jude is always a step ahead,” Sofia’s mom said. “Anything you need, they will provide it. It’s wonderful.”
When Brady was 4 years old, he underwent a physical exam for school. Results from his bloodwork revealed that he had myelodysplastic syndrome stemming from monosomy 7. He would need a bone marrow transplant to survive. When Brady’s siblings Charlee and Bentley were tested for potential transplant matches, they were also diagnosed with monosomy 7. Their doctors in Florida referred the family to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
At St. Jude, Brady and his sister Charlee underwent bone marrow transplants in 2014. “I didn’t realize how 100% financially supported you are here,” said Brady’s mother. Families 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.
Today, Brady and his sister return to St. Jude every 6 months for their regular check-up appointments. He will be starting first grade this fall and likes to dress up as a superhero every chance that he gets.
In August 2014, Mabry developed an ear infection she couldn’t shake. Then, her face swelled. Her pediatrician ran blood tests, and within hours, Mabry was a patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she’s undergoing two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy. “You feel like you’re in a dream,” Jenny said. “We were in complete shock.” Mabry has responded well to treatment and her cancer is in remission.
Families 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. Mabry’s parents are grateful for everything St. Jude provides. It allows them to focus on getting their daughter well. “There’s so much support from the doctors and nurses,” her mom said. “There are parent mentor programs and play groups. Everyone here cares about your child.”
Mabry’s sunny disposition hasn’t waned during treatment. “She’s so sweet,” Jenny said. “She’s always happy, always in a good mood. The kids here don’t feel sorry for themselves. They just keep going and don’t skip a beat.” Mabry loves to dress up, play with her little brother Caleb and pick flowers.