Published on August 19th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
“Jake’s Journey,” A Path To A Cure
(NAPSI)—This year, parents of 16,000 children in the U.S. will hear the words “Your child has cancer” and researchers are working on ways to do something about that.
A leading institution is trying to improve the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. In fact, its brain tumor science and technology are at the cutting edge worldwide.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® has one of the largest research-based pediatric brain tumor programs in the country, which was a sign of hope for the parents of one young patient, Jake.
When Jake was a toddler, he suffered from ependymoma, a type of brain tumor. Jake’s mom, Kathleen, remembered a phone call she received from St. Jude. “The doctor called and explained everything in a way I could understand,” she said. “The doctor said, ‘Remember, there’s hope.’”
Jake had 6½ weeks of radiation therapy. Treatments like this, which were invented at St. Jude, have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rates from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened in 1962.
Jake has been out of treatment for 15 years and visits the hospital annually for checkups. A varsity football and lacrosse player, Jake is a senior in high school. He loves sports trivia and statistics, and gets to share that love as a broadcaster for his school’s news station.
“You would never know that Jake had ever been so sick,” said Kathleen. “St. Jude saved his life.”
Inspired by the lifesaving work of St. Jude, Jake’s older sister, Emily, leads the family’s St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer team, a national event held during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September to raise funds and awareness for the hospital. Because of such efforts, no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, so families can focus on what matters most—helping their child live.
Doctors often send their toughest cases to St. Jude because it has the world’s best survival rates for some of the most aggressive childhood cancers. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Unlike any other hospital, the majority of funding for St. Jude comes from individual contributors.
“Jake and Emily and all our St. Jude patients and families are truly inspiring. I am continually amazed by their efforts to give back to St. Jude as well as by all the donors, volunteers and partners who embrace our lifesaving mission,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Because of their support, St. Jude won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.”
How To Help
For further facts about the hospital and how you can help, visit www.stjude.org.