I have lived in Memphis my entire life but until 2014 all I knew about St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital was that it treated children with cancer...but that was all I knew. I had never stepped foot through its doors and I had never given it a second glance on the days that I drove past on the interstate.
That all changed on March 7, 2014 when my eight year old sister, Carson Elizabeth Head, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, which was the bone cancer that they found in her knee and both of her lungs. Quickly a place that I knew nothing about became a second home for my sister, myself, and the rest of my family as doctors and nurses and hundreds of others walked alongside my sister as she fought for her life.
Sixteen months later, on June 26, 2015, my little sister lost her life to cancer. Even though my sister is now eternally healed in heaven and no longer walking the halls of St. Jude, it is still a sanctuary and home to me. The doctors, nurses, and staff at the hospital have become a second family to me and I hold each one of them in a special place in my heart.
I run because no child should ever die in the dawn of life. I run because St. Jude gave 110% to save my sister and support our family. I run because it has become my therapy to let out my built-up grief and to spend precious moments talking to Carson. I will continue to run every December and support St. Jude until childhood cancer becomes a thing of the past.
Our team wants to do more than run — we want to help run St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. That's why we're committed to raising funds as St. Jude Heroes. We're ready to go the distance in memory of Carson Elizabeth, but we need your support.
St. Jude cared for my sister and continues to care for so many other children that are affected by cancer without ever burdening a family with a bill. Carson underwent 6 major surgeries (one of those replacing her femur, tibia and fibula with a metal prosthesis), over 50 rounds of chemotherapy, rounds of radiation and so much more than I cannot even begin to name it all. Thanks to donors like you, my family never received a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
It costs $2.2 million a day to operate St. Jude. Did you know that 70% of the funds come from the public?! That means your donation, no matter what the size, will help!
Again I thank you all for your continuous support for St. Jude, Carson Liz and my family. We are surrounded by a mighty team! Last year, Team Carson Elizabeth raised over $135,000. WOW... that was incredible and way beyond our expectations. 2019 will be our 6th year participating in this event and we have set our goal at $100,000 again. We believe we can get there (and even go above and beyond) with your help.
Carson's Big Sissy-Chandler Head Barton