When Brandi Noe and her family moved from the Lower 48 to Alaska, she didn’t expect people there to be familiar with St. Jude — the children’s research hospital in Memphis where she was treated as a young girl for cancer of the eye.
But, in fact, Alaskans already had a love for the kids of St. Jude and a history of supporting them, by way of fundraising radiothons.
“The giving nature of Alaskans just seems to be out of this world,” said Matt Wilson, general manager of the KSRM Radio Group, in Kenai.
Matt has participated in St. Jude radiothons for about a quarter century, starting as a teenage intern at Anchorage’s KBRJ in 1997. He’s made the long trip to visit St. Jude about a dozen times. Those visits by radio station personnel enable them to bring the mission of St. Jude home to faraway Alaska.
It also helps to have, living among them, a St. Jude survivor like Brandi, 42, who has shared her story during radiothons.
“It actually gives me chills,” Brandi said, “to think that people who will maybe never lay eyes on the campus or know anything about the city of Memphis or the state of Tennessee, that they’re supportive of children going through such a terrible time.
“It makes me so proud to be part of a community that finds that important.”