My visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

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“Today,  all patients accepted for treatment at St. Jude are treated without regard for the family’s ability to pay. Everything beyond what is covered by insurance is taken care of, and for those without insurance, all of the medical costs are absorbed by the hospital.” – Marlo Thomas

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I had to share my incredible experience at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with you. Some life changing perspective went down in Memphis during my visit :) Got a chance to hang with our new friends at St. Jude with Brad Booker and Bo Hunter. We had two fabulous tour guides Danielle and Russ. I left feeling so excited and inspired! SOOOO STOKED for our RADIOTHON! YOUR donations help save kids all over the nation AND right here in Phoenix.

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OK so… someday I want to have children. It has always been the plan when I found the right person. The age-old requirement is the same for me too: ten fingers and ten toes! Please God make sure my babies are ok! Right? All parents really want is that their children be healthy and happy. I kept this very sentiment in my head the entire time I was at St. Jude. I cannot think of anything more heartbreaking that outliving your children or seeing them suffer. This is why the research at St. Jude is SO special and necessary for ALL OF OUR CHILDREN.

“When I found out that Stephan had cancer, my world stopped and my entire family was devastated. Thankfully, St. Jude opened their doors to us and gave my family hope and my son’s life back.”
- Patricia, mother of St. Jude patient Stephan, from South Florida

I honestly didn’t know exactly what to expect on the tour of the hospital and facilities, but what I discovered was so amazing. Speaking frankly and from the heart, I DID ask myself things like: Were there going to be sick children everywhere? Will I be able to handle this? Was I going to be sad? Would the hospital feel somber and lonely? Then it dawned on me that this place was the center of so many remarkable advances in medical science in children, specifically cancer. This was the place where families with children battling cancer would change their lives around and find hope and support. This was the place where cures are found, a place where healing is encouraged. So it was nothing like the sad picture I painted in my head. It was a beautiful place. Sure, there were kids in wheelchairs wearing masks. Sure there were kids needing to be pulled around in little wagons, but there was an underlying feeling of fun, creativity and innocence that only children can bring.

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I remember walking in the hall past the gift shop and a little boy, probably 4 or 5 was skipping down the hall. His bright eyes, little bald head and light-up shoes sparkled. He waved and hollered a giant “Hi!!!” through his medical mask to Brad. He was adorable. Maybe he found comfort in another bald guy LOL. I don’t know… there was just something about him, he was just happy. I smiled because he was just living his life, just doing what he does, just being a kid who happened to fall ill with a terrible disease. I wished in my heart for him to get better. I want him to take that energy and grow up with a chance. That is the epitome of what St. Jude does. There were so many mini-moments like this for me. With the money donated, the research is conducted, the cures can be found, children can be saved… amazing if you really think about it.

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Brad, Bo and I had the pleasure of meeting some great people in Memphis. One of my faves was Dr. Beth in the research department. She was so enthusiatic about her findings. You could totally tell that her heart was in her work and helping find cures. Her spirit really resonated with me because she was genuinely thrilled about what St. Jude represents. I thought she was a great ambassador!

ahhhhhh… There’s just so much to tell. I just wanted to relay how important it is to support St. Jude. All the money we raise… every dollar helps. I’d hope you join us for the KMLE Cares for Kids Radiothon. Thank you for your support!

oxox, Nina D

“All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.” Danny Thomas, St. Jude Founder

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