Central New York is Full of Heart, Breaking Records Again for Kids at St Jude
Your generosity helped break records AGAIN this year for the kids at St Jude. Day One broke a record, raising nearly $3,000 more than last year.
That's what you helped raise to fight childhood cancer on the first day, nearly $3,000 more than last year. You can still become a Partner in Hope online.
The trend continued for Day Two. Everyone came together to raise close to $80,000 for the 2022 Country Cares St Jude Radiothon.
You can still give online if you didn't get a chance during the two-day radiothon.
Who You Help
Your support is helping save kids' lives from around the world, including right here in Central New York. Several children are living healthy, happy lives thanks to the life-saving research being done at St Jude.
13-year-old Ahmed Merdanovic battled 4 brain surgeries before he even became a teenager for a softball-sized tumor in his brain. The fifth was is one that's helping save his life thanks to St Jude.
Ahmed spent 10 weeks at the hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He'll return to St. Jude later this month for a follow-up but mom is hopeful. "His residual brain tumor is small and stable," said Jennifer. "He continues to lead a happy, healthy life, enjoying school, friends, and family."
The future is bright for Anna Jones of Remsen who suffered a rare brain tumor when she was only 12-years-old. She was diagnosed with craniopharyngioma after a fall but six years later Anna remains cancer-free thanks to St Jude. She's graduated high school and has started the next step towards her goal of owning her own grooming salon one day. "She will start her hands-on training with a dog groomer soon and she is very excited," said Anna's mom Christine.
Anna returns to St Jude every year and is heading back in August as part of their aftercare treatment program. "St. Jude is still our saving grace and a donation to St. Jude is a life saved, whether it’s with treatment or the research they share with the world."
Doctors found cancer wrapped around Andrew Reppel's spine. St Jude created a new protocol to treat the Utica 6-year-old. That boy is now in his 20s and the Reppel family owes it all to St Jude. "I guess what I felt was thank you. Thank you Danny Thomas for being a man who made a difference," said Andrew's father, Stephen. "If you ever wondered if your dollar really did do what they say it does, I would tell you it does."
Treatments invented at St Jude Children's Research Hospital have pushed the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to over 80% since it opened in 1962. But St Jude won't stop until no child dies from cancer like Colin in Ithaca and Zachary in Buffalo.
Colin Hayward of Ithaca was cancer-free for five years, enjoying life to the fullest and leaving a lasting impression on everyone he met. Unfortunately, he passed away peacefully on St Patrick's Day, March 17, 2017, surrounded by his family.
Even though St Jude couldn't save Colin from the tumor wrapped around his brain, his dad Ian says he'll always support the hospital and their mission, because they gave his family something no one else could. Time. "It's hard to put a dollar value on a life and time spent. St Jude gave me 9 more precious years with my son. How do you quantify that? As sick as Colin was, they were able to help him in a way where most of his life was miraculous."
Zachary Dievendorf of Buffalo lived for 13 years. This year marks the same number of years he's been gone. His memory lives on through his sister who became a nurse in Buffalo in his honor.
Zachary died from a rare tumor on his brain stem. But his family is grateful. Grateful they got 7 extra precious months thanks to St Jude Children's Research Hospital. "They were the best and worst months of our lives," said Zachary's sister Sarah. "We're just so grateful for St Jude and all the time they gave us. We were so fortunate to be with my brother when he took his last breath. He knew how much we loved him and we knew how much he loved us."
2022 marks 13 years since Zachary has been gone but Sarah continues to keep his memory alive and raise awareness for the tumor that took his life. "There is no cure. They are still researching. They don't know much about it even after all these years. I'll keep fighting for every kid until there is no pediatric cancer."
Thank You Gifts
To show our appreciation for supporting St Jude Children's Research Hospital during our Country Cares radiothon with Drain Masters and becoming a Partner in Hope, you'll have the honor of joining the country community with a 'Love Music Stop Cancer' t-shirt and your choice of tickets to see either the Harlem Globetrotters March 2 or Utica Comets on Big Frog night February 25, both at the Adirondack Bank Center.
We will be contacting all Partners in Hope Monday, February 14 to get your ticket choice and to notify the 5 lucky winners who will be off to see Kenny Chesney at St Joseph's Health Amphitheater at Lakeview in Syracuse, on August 11.