Your child's welfare, comfort and happiness are of the greatest concern to us. Be assured that all of us at this hospital will do our utmost to meet your highest expectations regarding your child's care and treatment. Every child who enters St. Jude Children's Research Hospital receives the full benefit of modern scientific medicine plus individual attention and care.
We have learned that different subtypes of ALL respond differently to antileukemic agents, and that children differ greatly from one another in the way their body metabolizes and responds to various medications. In some cases, we have learned that these differences are inherited, and in those cases we have developed specific tests that allow us to determine which child requires more or less of these medications. In other situations, we have learned that a child’s age or the other drug therapy they are taking have an important influence on the way their body handles these medications. Our goal at St. Jude is to select the doses and the medications that are best for each individual child, and not treat every child with exactly the same medications or doses. We know from years of experience that this minimizes the risk of unwanted toxicity, and maximizes our chances of curing each child that comes to St. Jude. It is possible for us to do this type of work and have an impact on the treatment of each patient, because our doctors and pharmacists and nurses and scientists all work hand-in-hand to ensure that knowledge emerging from our laboratories and clinics is incorporated into the treatment of every child at St. Jude.
One of our main goals at St. Jude is to provide children with as much "normalcy" as possible. And obviously, one of the most familiar places to children is their own home. When possible, we will work with a local physician to deliver certain treatments at or closer to home. After your child has been referred to St. Jude and a treatment plan has been recommended, we will be in touch with your local physician to let him or her know what therapy is being offered. Once therapy has begun, we will continue to communicate with your local physician, and when possible, involve them in delivering some of your child’s treatments at home. After treatment is completed, we will rely heavily on him or her to monitor your child and to notify us of any problems or concerns.
Most care is delivered on an outpatient basis. So even if treatment requires children and their families to stay in Memphis, it does not usually require them to be in the hospital for long periods of time. When children are at the hospital during the day for various appointments, we have activity rooms filled with toys, games and computers to help pass the time and allow them to play and interact with other children.
Treating the disease is only one facet of patient care at St. Jude. The institution has a wide range of specialists to help families cope with the challenges of battling a life-threatening pediatric illness. Social workers, psychologists and pastoral caregivers help patients and families deal with the emotional effects. Two Memphis school teachers are on staff to help patients continue their studies while they are undergoing treatment. Additionally, you will receive a tremendous amount of support from other parents who are here and going through similar emotions. A nondenominational chapel is open 24 hours a day.