Hello Family and Friends,
This year will be my third year doing the St. Jude Peoria to Memphis Ride after being a part of the Canton to Peoria Run for so many years. But after last year's run I have decided to stop running and just going to participate in the ride. It was a hard decision since I have done the run for so many years but in the end I’m still raising money for St. Jude. But my story is why I gave back to St. Jude and is a little different than most riders.
My story started September 1997 when I was only 2 and a half years old and our father, Howard E. Strube Jr, had died in the line of duty as a firefighter 19 days prior to my diagnosis. I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia and had a white blood count over 500,000. I had to go through intense chemo and countless other treatments while I was at St. Jude. But my mom and I weren’t the only two that were impacted from my diagnosis. I have two older twin brothers that had to stay home not knowing what was going on only from what family was able to tell them and when they got to visit me at St. Jude. Our family had to be strong and stick together in all of this. I had four years of treatment once I was at St. Jude but in that treatment I relapsed once and had to have radiation to the central nervous system. After I relapsed I saw my mother crying in the waiting room and I went up to her not really knowing what was going on and told her “Mom it’s just more medicine.” My mom is an amazing woman and stuck it out to make sure that her family was safe even after everything she has been through. In November of 2000 I was put back into remission and have been cancer free since then. This year will be 22 years of remission!!
A little bit of an update on my life today and how St. Jude is still making a difference even after I’m no longer an active patient. In 2018 I graduated from WIU over in Macomb, IL with my bachelors in Fire Science. Since then it’s been a crazy four years. At first I was thinking about becoming a firefighter like our dad and follow in his footsteps. But sometimes things don't turn out the way we want them to. So I jumped from a few jobs here and there and was able to move into my own place in 2019. In 2020 I started working at OSF in Peoria in the lab right as Covid started. It was a tough two years at OSF but decided it was time to move on. Instead of becoming a firefighter i decided to go into fire prevention. November of 2021 I accepted a job with Getz Fire Equipment to install fire alarm systems. But work hasn’t been the only thing I have been up to either. In september of 2020 I bought my first house and got my first dog Miss Luna Mae!! I'm sure most of you have seen my crazy dog all over facebook being the cutest that she can be. All I can say is that because of St. Jude I can live the life that I have today.
But St. Jude doesn’t stop treating patients after they have been cured. In April I took part in the St. Jude Life Study. This is where they bring back patients about every five years and do a whole panel of studies and lab work. The patients they bring back aren’t just people around my age; they bring back patients from when the hospital first opened if they can. This study helps them see how treatment affects different people and also helps them know how to treat kids going through treatment. Even after not being an active patient St. Jude still provides free treatment, lodging, meals, and pays for any travel expenses.
So with all of that being said any donation will be taken for the kids of St. Jude and their families. Danny Thomas has always been a big role model while going through treatment and also to this day. For once he said "No Child Should Die in the Dawn of Life."