Three patients of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® will take the field at the 2022 AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 28. AutoZone Liberty Bowl, now in its 64th year, will begin at 4:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Dec. 28 on ESPN.
Nearly 60,000 spectators plus a national television audience will watch as St. Jude patients have a ball during three key moments of the game. St. Jude patient Addie, 21, will take to the 50-yard line to perform the Star-Spangled Banner. Patient Caleb, 22, will then join the team captains and officials for the coin toss. And St. Jude patient Quincy, 12, will sprint across the field to retrieve the kickoff tee, a moment sponsored by Delta Dental of Tennessee, a long-time supporter of St. Jude.
“We are incredibly excited for fans in Memphis and around the world to see Addie, Caleb and Quincy on game day as they represent all St. Jude patients at the 2022 AutoZone Liberty Bowl,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Thank you to AutoZone, the College Football Playoff Foundation and ESPN for uniting football fans around the world to help the kids of St. Jude today and in the future. Together, we can save more lives.”
Now taking the field, please welcome St. Jude patients Addie, Caleb and Quincy
The 2022 AutoZone Liberty Bowl is one of the biggest stages on which Addie has ever appeared, but that’s nothing for this strong-spirited vocalist. From growing up in a small Mississippi town to performing on stage and recording with country music superstar Brad Paisley, Addie has found comfort in song during the most challenging moments a person can face: a cancer diagnosis. In February 2016, Addie was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and referred immediately to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Her response to chemotherapy treatments was positive. Addie returned home that summer and was named to the homecoming court at her school that year. Today, Addie is cancer free.
St. Jude patient Quincy, 12, will take the field as the official Kickoff Tee Kid sponsored by Delta Dental of Tennessee sprinting out on the field after the first play of the game. When Quincy couldn’t shake his stomach trouble, his pediatrician had a feeling something more than a virus might be the cause. It was a tumor on his right kidney – a type of renal cancer called Wilms tumor. He was referred immediately to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where his treatment included surgery to remove the affected kidney and chemotherapy. He had his last dose of chemotherapy in August 2018. Today, Quincy is cancer free and he tells his story in his own words on St. Jude Inspire.
And what would the AutoZone Liberty Bowl be without a ceremonial coin toss? St. Jude patient Caleb, 22, has been part of this moment since 2016 and has been a patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® since he was 13 months old. Caleb was born with a rare, incurable genetic condition called Hurler syndrome, which means he lacks the enzyme needed to break down and dispose of certain sugar molecules, which consequently build up in the body and cause progressive damage.
When he was just 18 months old, Caleb underwent a bone marrow transplant at St. Jude to slow the progression of the disease and prevent further effects on his brain. In the 18 years since that procedure, he’s also undergone leg and hip surgeries and a cornea transplant. Caleb is committed to giving back. He has helped raise more than $250,000 for other kids being treated at St. Jude and hosts his own podcast focused on inspiring others to achieve their dreams no matter the challenge they face.
Earlier this year, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl and The College Football Playoff Foundation announced a donation of more than $310,000 to benefit St. Jude.
Score a touchdown for St. Jude kids by donating this holiday season.
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. When St. Jude opened in 1962, childhood cancer was considered incurable. Since then, St. Jude has helped push the overall survival rate from 20% to more than 80%, and it won't stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude shares the breakthroughs it makes to help doctors and researchers at local hospitals and cancer centers around the world improve the quality of treatment and care for even more children. Because of generous donors, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, so they can focus on helping their child live. Visit St. Jude Inspire to discover powerful St. Jude stories of hope, strength, love and kindness. Support the St. Jude mission by donating at stjude.org, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok, and subscribing to its YouTube channel.