Danny Thomas and the Story Behind St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
The story of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital spans back over 70 years ago when entertainer Danny Thomas found himself nearly broke with a baby on the way. The story of how he gave his last $7 to a Detroit church with a prayer and a pledge, would lead to countless children living healthy lives.
Thomas was inspired by the sermon he heard in the Detroit church that day. This is when he put the last money he had to his name (money that was supposed to pay for his wife and child's hospital bills) in the collection box and prayed to the patron saint of hopeless causes - St. Jude.
"Show me my way in life, and I will build you a shrine."
The next day Thomas was offered a small role that paid 10 times the amount he had placed in that collection box. From that day on, Thomas did everything he could to make sure no child would have to die in the dawn of life.
Thomas envisioned a hospital that would treat children regardless of race, color, creed or their family's ability to pay. A facility where research would shine light into the darkness. Thomas’ vision became a reality when St. Jude Children's Research Hospital opened February 4, 1962. Since then, St. Jude has become one of the world's premier pediatric research institutions.
Today the mission is the same. No family ever sees a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food. All a parent should have to worry about is helping their child live. That mission has been incredibly successful. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since opening 50 years ago.
Join us in becoming a Partner in Hope and ensuring that every child has the opportunity to live a healthy normal life. Not only will you be saving lives, you'll have a shirt to prove it. Donate online at St Jude.