Skip to main content

Part of something bigger

When Danny Thomas opened St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in 1962, his vision resonated with Judi Didcoct.

Judi Didcoct

Judi Didcoct

“Cancer has had a strong presence in my life,” Judi said. “In high school, I lost a childhood friend to leukemia, and the next year my father also died from leukemia.” Later, she lost her mother to breast cancer and her husband to T-cell lymphoma.

The retired school teacher loves children, though she doesn't have any of her own. “When I heard what Danny was trying to do for kids with cancer, it hit a nerve, and I thought, ‘This is something I want to be part of,’” she says. 

Q: What have you been doing since your retirement?

A: One thing I have been doing since 1997 is volunteering in developing countries with the St. Paul volunteer organization. I went to Indonesia, one of the poorest places I’ve ever seen, to teach English at a small Catholic school. That trip really touched my heart, and so I’ve continued to help. I’ve volunteered in many places like Vietnam and Brazil, and I just returned from a session in Mexico. It also helped me realize that I wanted to do something for the kids at home, which cemented the idea of St. Jude being one of the central beneficiaries of my estate.

Q: How did you get involved with St. Jude?

A: I met my St. Jude representative, Jen, at a luncheon for St. Jude donors in my retirement community. They had a very good program explaining all the wonderful things the hospital does, and I told Jen about my estate gift. Talking to her really helped me feel certain that I made the right decision, and she has been able to provide me with a lot more information to show me how my gift will really make a difference.

Q: Have you visited the hospital, and was there anything about your visit that surprised you?

A: I visited with my niece, and it was wonderful to see everything firsthand. I was particularly impressed with the kids and the fact that they didn’t look down and out. I was also really interested in the St. Jude School program and to learn how the children are able to continue their education while they are in treatment.

Q: What would you say to others who may be considering a gift to St. Jude in their will?

A: I would encourage anyone to visit St. Jude, and they will realize why it’s so important. St. Jude’s work is all-encompassing in researching and treating childhood cancer, and I want to ensure that continues long into the future. My gift is an investment in the mission, and it means that these children will have a chance to live a normal life. That is the most important thing.

You, too, can build your legacy

Learn More About Wills and Bequests