St. Jude Children's Research Hospital celebrated the support of the Hispanic radio, television and entertainment industries at the 16th annual Promesa y Esperanza seminar January 23-26 at St. Jude. More than 400 industry professionals attended the event.
Since the Promesa y Esperanza (Promise and Hope) radiothons started in 1997, they have raised more than $100 million for St. Jude. “I can't tell you how impressed I am with the dedication, passion and commitment of the Hispanic community for the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The annual Promesa seminar strengthens the relationship between St. Jude and the Hispanic community and fosters celebrity and industry executive involvement. The weekend event wrapped up with a dinner featuring performances by noted musical artists Roberto Tapia and 3Ball MTY. The master of ceremonies for the evening was Raúl Molinar from the new national Univision Radio show, “El Bueno, la Mala y el Feo” or “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”
Ruth Gaviria, executive vice president of corporate marketing for the leading Spanish-language company Univision Communications, took part in Promesa this year and is one of the newest members of the ALSAC/St. Jude Boards of Directors and Governors.
She said St. Jude has tremendous credibility among Hispanics because the hospital has taken the time to understand that community. And she noted that the hospital has done recent research that offers insight into why Hispanics have a higher risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and a higher risk of relapse from the disease.
Gaviria also praised the commitment of St. Jude to diversity and to family. “What St. Jude does better than any organization in the world is to treat the whole family,” she said. “They enroll the entire family as a team with them to save that life.”
A life like Dionisio's.
When Dionisio was only one-and-a-half, his parents noticed that he had begun to bruise easily. After a blood test, his doctor sent the family to St. Jude, where they learned Dionisio had ALL, the most common childhood cancer, his mother, Jenny, told seminar attendees.
“They gave me hope and made me think everything would be OK,” Jenny said. “I thank God for St. Jude. There is no other hospital like St. Jude. They really love their patients.”
Today, Dionisio is 3 and he is cancer-free. Originally from Mexico, the family now lives in Tennessee and returns to St. Jude periodically for Dionisio’s check-ups. His last chemotherapy treatment is scheduled for the first week of 2015.