The room became completely silent when the door opened as a young couple and their little girl rolled in a wheel chair with a younger boy secured in.
Obvious tenseness of the room eased when the family was introduced and their sad, yet inspirational experiences unraveled.
It was a full staff meeting preparing for the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital Radiothon this week, when the family shared happenings since Gage, now three, was diagnosed with rare cancer at just a few weeks of age.
Actually Dad, Mom and Cassie, seven, were quite pleasant considering ordeals they’ve been through with Gage. Likewise seemingly joyful, Gage, now blind, does hear, especially liking sportscasts and jingling keys, and can walk with assistance.
The family has spent considerable time at the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where Gage has been in treatment.
There has been no cost to the family from St. Jude’s, or for travel expenses, or room and board while there, thanks to generosity of donors.
St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, founded in 1962 by entertainer Danny Thomas, is a pediatric treatment and research facility focused on children’s catastrophic diseases, on the premise that “no child should die in the dawn of life.”
Thomas, a comedian, prayed to St. Jude Patron Saint of Hope for a job opportunity. A week later, Thomas got well-paying gig, making him a believer in prayer. Thomas promised he’d build a St. Jude Shrine, which he did, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital developed.
Internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases, the hospital’s research has helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent, when the institution opened, to almost 80 percent today.
With daily operating costs of $1.9 million, primarily covered by contributions, nearly 8,000 patients, children as well as adults, are treated annually.
Inspirational to all, this becomes personally significant since both of our parents succumbed to cancer, plus our own skin concerns.
“We ask St. Jude to intercede, heal sickness and suffering.”
Reminds us of Jude 1:2: “May mercy, peace, love and health be multiplied to you.”