5 Surprising Facts About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
You may know St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was founded with the specific goal of curing cancer in children, but there’s probably a whole lot more about it you don’t know.
WHO’S BEHIND ST. JUDE’S?
Located in Memphis, Tennessee, the hospital was famously founded by the late comedian Danny Thomas. While struggling to make it in show business, Thomas reportedly had promised to himself that if he ever made it big he would honor St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes. Today, his daughter, fellow actress Marlo works as the national outreach director for the hospital.
HOW LONG HAS ST. JUDE’S BEEN FIGHTING CHILDHOOD CANCER?
The hospital has been helping children for more than half a century – in fact, it recently celebrated its 51st birthday and shows no signs of slowing down in its fight. It opened its doors to patients on February 4, 1962.
WHAT KIND OF IMPACT HAS ST. JUDE’S HAD?
St. Jude has been at the forefront of the battle against cancer. Consider this: overall survivor rates were under 20% when the hospital opened. Today, it stands at 80%. The hospital also has the esteemed honor of being the first to find a cure for sickle cell diease using a bone marrow transplant.
WHO GOES TO ST. JUDE’S?
Considered one of the top children’s cancer care hospital in the nation, about 7,800 children visit annually, with about 260 patients treated each day.
WHO PAYS FOR ST. JUDE’S
The truly amazing thing is that no family ever has to pay a dime to St. Jude for anything. That’s because the hospital is supported by public contributions, with nearly 81 cents of every dollar donated going directly to research and treatment. That’s no small feat considering it costs $1.8 million each day to keep the facility running.