This was as much therapy for the staff as it was for the patients. It was hard to have a family move into the hotel, befriend them and then see them leave without that precious little family member they came to save '- someone who had been a friend of ours for months.
I am a Memphian, and I cannot say enough about St. Jude or how it works. The success rate now is phenomenal. I have many friends who work there. But I also pay tribute to the Ronald McDonald House and the Target House residences that keep the families from being penned up in impersonal little hotel rooms with wall-to-wall rollaway beds and cribs for the siblings. We did our best for the kids and their families, but there is so much more to the cure than the treatment. And we knew that.
Kudos to all of the local people here who did everything they could out of the goodness of their hearts to ease the pain for cancer kids who had little or no chance.
And big kudos to St. Jude for reversing those numbers. I often wonder how much the housing affects the outcome.
Here in Memphis, we raise a lot of money for St. Jude. There are continuous fund-raisers '- from car washes to radiothons and golf tournaments. We could also use some help with Ronald McDonald House, where the cancer kids live while they are trying to live longer. I'm happy to say that I've played a small role in the St. Jude story. It's so close to my heart. And I truly believe that's where the cure starts '- in the hearts of the families and the patients.