On the morning of I’ll be standing among 35,000 people in downtown Nashville, as we prepare to race various distances as part of the St. Jude Country Music Marathon and Half-Marathon. As I look around at all of the runners I’ll know something that they won’t know – that the beautiful young lady standing next to me is a patient at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
That beautiful young lady is my 13-year old daughter Audrey. A little over six years ago she was diagnosed with a tumor in her lung. In the early morning hours of her diagnosis I asked the nurse how big the tumor was, needing some perspective on what she was dealing with. The nurse responded that it was approximately 10 cm - as big as a baseball. At the time Audrey was only 6 years old and weighed only 38 pounds. The thought of a tumor that large in her tiny little body sent a wave of panic and concern over our family, not knowing what the future might bring.
Fortunately, for children like Audrey, there is an incredible beacon of hope in the fight against pediatric cancer – St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital. Audrey was referred to St Jude, where we quickly learned the depths to which this incredible hospital would go to ensure that she received the care she needed. In the time since she has been a patient at St. Jude she has received world class care at no cost to our family. Her tumor has been eradicated through a series of surgeries and treatments that has left her completely healthy and able to lead the normal kid.
For that I'll be running as a St. Jude Hero and raising money for this incredible hospital. I'll be running for kids who might be too sick to run today, but who could one day be running alongside me because the money I raised helped find a cure for childhood cancer. Please donate and help me reach my goal!