Expedia + St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital = Dream Big
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Expedia is making it very easy for you… yes YOU.. dear reader to save money on your travel… while also supporting the efforts of the good people over at St. Jude.
All you have to do is donate $25 to St.Jude and that will save you 10% off your hotel booking or save 20% if you book via the Expedia App.
For as long as I can remember, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital has been a part of my life.
Thankfully, not because any of us were sick..but because my grandmother contributes to them every single month.
She say’s it’s God’s Work that they do and we have to do all we can to help the hospital help the sick children.
Recently I had the honor of being a part of a trip that took me to Memphis, TN… to meet the staff and patients and doctors of St. Jude.
St Jude Children’s Research Hospital opened in 1962 and was founded by the entertainer – Danny Thomas.
The story goes – Danny Thomas’ wife had just given birth to their child. Danny – in the early stages of his career- could not afford the $50 to have them released from the hospital. He went to the nearby catholic church and prayed – If you help me, I will build a shrine for you – shortly he got a job for $75 and paid the hospital. Years later… St. Jude – the saint for hopeless causes- was built.
We met with some of the doctors and staff of the hospital and it really puts you at ease to know that these passionate professionals at the height of their field are working … hard… to cure childhood cancer. Just knowing how much these jobs means to them… which really aren’t jobs at all…rather a calling.
A higher calling.
Writing these words down are bringing such tears to my eyes. But not tears of sorrow rather tears of joy. The amazing things going on at St Jude are nothing short of a miracle. Danny Thomas was a visionary and his mission to eradicate childhood cancer is almost complete!
While I was visiting, Expedia hosted an “ AROUND THE WORLD” themed party. Food, crafts and even DANCE from all around the world. Mikella of Travel Bare Feet taught the kids how to hula and do some african dance moves. Dance is a healing art and you know I was over the moon about this movement aspect of the party!! The kids and their families enjoyed the food and music and just the social aspect of it all.
I played catch with one very special kid who stole my heart! It was humbling to see the strength these families had when faced with such a serious event in their child’s lives. I was counting my blessing every single moment.
St. Jude houses the families of the children being treated in the hospital.. and long term care families are hosted in the Target House. The Target House is beautiful and no design element is spared. Each common room is sponsored by a celebrity or a corporation. From Shaun White, Tiger Woods to Proctor and Gamble… these rooms are designed to the hilt.
The apartments within the Target House are just right to comfortably fit a family of 4.
A few facts about St. Jude’s:
- No family ever pays St. Jude for anything. Not one single dime. Nothing.
- Daily operating costs are 1.7 million, which is primarily covered by public contributions.
- In 1962 – the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic Leukemia– the most common form of childhood cancer- was 4%. Today.. .survival rate 94%.
- St. Jude is the FIRST AND ONLY National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted to children.
- The Flu vaccine was developed at St Jude
- St Jude accepts patients up to 18 years of age and cares for them for a lifetime.
- Although there are only 78 beds in the hospital for in-patient care, they still see
- close to 7800 patients a year on an out-patient care basis.
- Since patients come from all over the world no comfort food request goes unnoticed. Whether it’s a Chinese black chicken with noodles or mac ‘n cheese “just like grandma’s” the chefs at St Jude are dedicated to bringing every bit of comfort to these patients.
- St. Jude offers counseling to siblings, and family members of the kids being treated. There is also a special day called “ siblings day” where the party is JUST for the siblings. Many times when there is a sick child, the siblings don’t get as much attention, St Jude has programs in place to address such issues.
Facts about Target House:
- Built on property rented via the Catholic Diocese for $1 per year.
- Elephants everywhere- since Elephants represent good luck, There are elephant structures and painting and touches all over in every single room.
- When families are coming in, the staff asks the families for tips to keep the apartments “homey”- they include favorite colors, favorite characters so they can include that in the design.
- Since wall paper has chemicals that can harm the kids, wall paper is picked out by the celebrity designing the room and painted on the walls precisely.
- 30 Riding toys for kids to ride around campus. Trikes and bikes and scooters and wagons! But no driving rules.. so watch out!
- There are special SPA, Hair, Gym rooms where kids get professional stylists to come in and do their hair, nails… etc.
- Walls are decorated with painting of elephants from various public figures – celebs, presidents..etc
As you can see… there is a lot of good going on over there in Memphis, TN. My heart was touched, my mind was opened and I made my grandmother proud!
Expedia is doing their part in bringing attention and funds to the efforts at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.