Note: St Jude invited me to their campus in Memphis as part of a tour with other bloggers. Although they paid for my travel, they did not compensate me for this post. All opinions are my own.
Finding Your “Blue Sky” Dream:
This post is about dreams, visions and aiming high ~ it is just one of the many things I love about St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
What’s Your “blue sky” dream? If all the stars were aligned, what is the one thing you’d want to do? Danny Thomas had a “blue sky” dream. He loved children and wanted to help sick kids. He believed no one should die in the dawn of their lives and thus he decided to build a pediatric hospital designed to research and treat catastrophic, life-threatening childhood diseases.
But here is where things go from “Wow that’s awesome” to “awe inspiring amazingness times a bazillion.” (No exaggeration).
1. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was the first hospital and only hospital where NO ONE PAYS A BILL. All medical treatment, drugs, food, travel, lodging for the patient and family is paid by the foundation that funds St Jude. Thomas wanted parents with sick children to focus on the one thing they should focus on…their children.
2. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was the first integrated hospital in the South. Thomas wanted to a build a hospital that would treat the children of the world and employ the best of the best, regardless of race, creed or religion.
3. Danny Thomas was instrumental in ending segregation in restaurants, hotels and businesses around Memphis because he said, “if you don’t serve ALL of our patients, staff and families, you will serve none.” Boom!
4. St. Jude was the first hospital to aggressively treat pediatric cancer and other life threatening diseases. Up until that point, the medical profession viewed aggressive chemotherapy as “too cruel” for children. Instead, doctors would console parents, telling them to make the best of the time they had with their children and allow the children to “die in peace.” Thomas said, “children do not die in peace. ” He encouraged the doctors and researchers to get aggressive and fight the disease which has helped increase the number of childhood cancer survivors from 20% to 80%.
5. Thomas knew the kitchen was the heart of the home and with a substantial donation from Kay Jewelers, he created an innovative cafeteria that served the St Jude Family. EVERYONE, from patients to doctors, researchers, and parents all break bread together. It levels the playing field and really helps foster a “home away from home” feeling.
There are a number of other amazing programs sthat make St. Jude the “BEST WORST PLACE” in the world. As I wrote after my first visit in November, St. Jude really is health care utopia and if more corporations looked at how this one organization, built by one man’s vision, has made an impact on so many ~ patients, doctors, families, celebrities, bloggers ~ the world would be a better place. How’s that for a blue sky dream? So here’s a to you Danny Thomas! A visionary, saint, social justice pioneer, true innovator and life saver for families everywhere. You taught us to dream big and aim higher. xo
To learn more about St Jude visit the blogs from these fantastic bloggers:
- Learn how St Jude uses laughter, love and joy to help combat what really is a parent’s worst nightmare in Amanda’s blog.
- Read moving excerpts from children as they describe their experiences from A-Z in Beeb’s blog.
- Learn how St Jude built a garden to ensure their children are getting the freshest, most nutritious food in Ruth’s blog.
- Read why Ebonie loves St. Jude which includes Mac n Cheese, being pioneers for social justice and being a place where children’s lives are saved.