I wanted to take the time to write about my efforts to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (“St. Jude”). St. Jude is a very special hospital located in Memphis, TN. For those of you unfamiliar with this institution St. Jude is a global medical facility focused solely on the research and treatment for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. However, that definition does not even begin to describe what St. Jude actually does. St. Jude accepts children that other doctors and medical institutions have given up on. They specialize in helping children whose parents were told “Take your child home and make him/her comfortable”. No parent ever wants to hear those words. Neither does St. Jude. Sometimes we get wrapped up in the minutia of everyday life and the stresses and annoyances that comes with it. All of that minutia is nothing compared to when a child is not only diagnosed with cancer, but also told that there is nothing that can be done about it. Fortunately, most of us do not have to endure the emotional and financial turmoil that arises out of a negative prognosis. As parents we would not want to give up and take our children home and make them comfortable. We would want to fight and never stop fighting. Fighting is exactly what St. Jude does. St. Jude fights for children that everyone else has given up on. St. Jude fights regardless of ethnicity, religion or ability to pay. St. Jude gives children and families the greatest gift of all, hope.
You might ask why I am asking you to help support an institution based in Memphis, TN when we have so many institutions locally that also need our support. The reason is that although St. Jude is based in Memphis, TN, the children that are admitted there are located throughout the world. When I attended the St. Jude Give Thanks. Walk. last year I got the privilege of meeting, first hand, families from San Diego that went to St. Jude. I witnessed children give speeches that were alive because of St. Jude. Children that beat the odds because one institution, and one institution alone, never gave up on them.
No one who is accepted to St. Jude pays for treatment. Whether a family is poor or rich does not matter. Their children receive the same level of treatment and service. What a Utopian concept it is to treat sick patients purely based on medical need and not ability to pay. All of its treatments and facilities are paid for by people like you and me. When you give to St. Jude you are giving directly to children diagnosed with cancer and their families.
I believe in St. Jude with all of my heart. I am asking you to make a donation to St. Jude by going to http://walk.stjude.org/michaelgaddis. No donation is too small. $5. $10. $25. Whatever you can spare. If you feel that you would be of better service by joining my team obtaining contributions through your own circle of influence I welcome you to join my team. Last year the St. Jude Give Thanks. Walk. raised just over $40k in San Diego. My goal is for my team to raise $10k in 2014. I have set a lofty goal but I feel I owe it to God and to myself to give thanks for all of the good that I have in my life. What better way than to help families that need desperately need help.
Again, please donate by going to http://walk.stjude.org/michaelgaddis. Please look into your hearts and see what you might be able to give. The St. Jude Give Thanks. Walk. is Saturday, November 22, 2014. I only have 80 days to reach my goal. Please help.
If you are interested in a history of St. Jude please read the following:
St. Jude was founded in 1960 by Danny Thomas, a comedian and television actor. Aside from St. Jude, Danny Thomas is probably best known for his television series Make Room For Daddy/The Danny Thomas Show which enjoyed a 13 year run from 1953-1965. I used to watch the reruns of this show as a child and while I enjoyed the show, my first association when I think of Danny Thomas is not his television series, but St. Jude.
Danny Thomas was a Catholic of Lebanese descent passionate about his religion. As a struggling actor Danny Thomas made a vow that if he found success he would open a shrine dedicated to St. Jude Thaddeus (“St. Jude”). St. Jude was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and is generally known as the Patron Saint for those that are Hopeless and Despaired. St. Jude is also known as the Patron Saint of the Impossible.
I cannot think of a more fitting shrine to St. Jude than a children’s hospital dedicated to researching and curing diseases that many consider to be incurable. Many of the children that are accepted to St. Jude are considered to be beyond help and their last hope is that St. Jude’s might be able to help them. Remember that these children are at the beginning of their lives and are facing more adversity at a young age than most people will face cumulative during the course of their entire lives.
St. Jude provides hope to those that would otherwise be forced to give up and acquiesce to the tragic inevitability of their condition. Children that are accepted into St. Jude do not pay for their services. If they do not have insurance, St. Jude will cover the costs associated with the child’s care and treatment. If the child does have insurance St. Jude will work with the insurance carrier but the child’s family will not be charged for any costs not covered by the insurance carrier.
St. Jude is an incredible institution that provides hope to children and their families. St. Jude needs donations to continue its work and I strongly encourage everyone to donate money to this incredible cause.