St. Jude’s: Why What They Do Matters So Much

Danny Thomas with a St. Jude's patient.

There are several charitable organizations that I hold near and dear, each of which is important in its own way. One of my favorites?  St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

When I was a little girl, I used to watch “The Danny Thomas Show,” and I’d watch his daughter, Marlo Thomas, on “That Girl!” (I know. I’ve aged myself rather incriminatingly – but she did turn the world on with her smile!)

I remember Mr. Thomas coming on after his show was over to talk about St. Jude’s and Marlo would introduce him at the end of hers and do the same thing. And he would ask if we would help.

His plea touched me as a little girl, and I love it when I see Marlo supporting St. Jude’s and carrying on the tradition. It’s a much bigger hospital now, doing more than I think Mr. Thomas ever thought possible. Marlo Thomas and her team of familiar faces from Hollywood are making those pleas to give now, and seeing them remind me of how much I’ve always loved St. Jude’s.

And although I’m not a comedian or a handsome/beautiful and talented actor, I’m still throwing my voice in with theirs.

I grew up in the Midwest. My parents struggled their entire lives to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table – a cliché, I know, but true for so many then and now… maybe even more now, in our current economy. I was lucky enough to be strong and healthy, but what about those that weren’t – and aren’t?

St. Jude’s was much smaller then. The families they helped struggled and suffered from either financial ruin, or simply not being able to give their children the medical care they needed.

Today, I am so grateful that I have a strong and healthy daughter, and my heart breaks for the parents and their children who are suffering. But today, thanks to Mr. Thomas and Marlo and their many friends and supporters, they have a place to go – St. Jude’s won’t turn them away because they don’t have money. Their suffering can have an end that isn’t bleak.

There is something to be said for an institution that has been around for nearly 50 years (ach! I did it again!), bringing hope and health to so many.

St. Jude’s is there for the children. Let’s do what we can to help them stay there.

Image via St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

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