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Archive for the ‘Country Cares for St. Jude’ Category

Save Lives By Running or Supporting St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Nashville!

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On April 30th, more than 30,000 runners, wheelchairs, and walkers will attempt the annual St. Jude Rock ‘N’ Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon through the streets of Music City lined with 28 stages as live bands perform the soundtrack of the day. The best part is, they do it all in the name of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Country music has had a long standing relationship with St. Jude, because who wouldn’t love a place that spreads cheer, inspires hope and finds cures to childhood diseases…all with a smile and never handing a family a bill.

Earlier this year, I had the great pleasure to attend the Country Cares for St. Jude event and experience the hospital. It was a life changing experience filled with laughter, tears and awe. There’s truly no words to make anyone who’s never gone understand what this place does every day, and the lives it changes.

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Charles Kelley had a particularly awe-inspiring weekend, visiting the hospital a month before he would be a father to his very first child. The heart definitely feels a little more while looking at sick children once you have one of your own. It becomes a humbling experience, and this place suddenly becomes personal… Because you never know if you’re child may one day need the services of St. Jude.

How can you help??? Well, for one you can run, build your own team, support another or just give to this amazing cause.

Details on the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon weekend:
• The races will take place on April 30.
• Marathon will start in downtown Nashville at 7:15 a.m. on Broadway and finish at Nissan Stadium (LP Field)
• Half marathon will start in downtown Nashville at 7:15 a.m. on Broadway and finish at Nissan Stadium (LP Field)
• 5K will start in downtown Nashville at 6:45 a.m. at Demonbreun Street & 4th Avenue and finish at Nissan Stadium (LP Field)
• (Course maps are all still TBD.)

St. Jude Hero fundraising levels are as follows:
• Bronze Hero – $500 fundraiser
• Silver Hero – $1,000 fundraiser
• Gold Hero – $3,000 fundraiser
• Platinum Hero – $4,500 fundraiser
• Classic Hero – Open fundraiser

Incentives for becoming a Hero include:
• Access to Songwriters Pasta Party anchored by songwriter Shane McAnally
• Heroes corral start
• Heroes hospitality passes
• Preferred post-race concert seating
• Access to a special meet and greet with John Rich
• And much more!

Click here to register as a St. Jude Hero or learn more about the race.

A Weekend at St. Jude Changed My Life

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We’ve all heard the radiothons, seen the commercials and heard the tearful tales associated with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.   I always sympathized, empathized and cried, but honestly…I never truly understood until now.  Last weekend, I had the pleasure and blessing to attend the St. Jude Country Cares Seminar in Memphis.   I had the privilege to walk through the doors of St. Jude and talk to patients, parents and doctors…and it changed my life.

Country music has had a long standing relationship with St. Jude, raising over $650 million.  In reality, this is an amazing feat and tons of money.  However, with an operating budget of over $2 million a day, it’s just a drop in the bucket for the fight against childhood cancer.  Thankfully,with the continued help of generous people, St.  Jude will eventually rend itself useless by curing themselves right out of a job.

I’ve always heard that St. Jude was more than just a hospital, but until I saw it for myself, I didn’t quite understand.  St. Jude goes beyond not charging parents and patients for care, but they literally take care of every detail so families can concentrate on getting well.  St. Jude takes care of treatments, food, shelter and transportation for patients.  The hospital takes care of every single financial burden a family may endure while caring for a child with cancer.

While the numbers are impressive and the statistics prove progress is being made; what truly makes St. Jude remarkable is their attention to details in the small things.  Teenagers enjoy a teen room where proms, graduations and time to “chill” are hosted.  Teens fighting for their lives get to feel “normal” around other kids their age, celebrating milestones big and small with others who are just like them.

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Children are carted to and from treatments in red wagons down brightly colored walls painted in murals of the seasons and walked through their procedures with a stuffed animal who help them walk through their treatments beforehand.  Instead of fear and uncertainty, the halls of St. Jude are clothed in Faith, Hope and Love.

While most may think that the children would look back on the years spent fighting cancer with sadness in pain.  However, most St. Jude patients look back on their journeys fondly.  Many return to the hospital later in life to work as doctors, nurses, researches and more.

I can’t quite explain my journey this weekend.  But I can tell you the overall feeling I left with is hope.  Even the parents who told their stories of loss were full of hope and gratitude.  Gratitude to have been a part of something like St. Jude.  Something that will one day lead to the cure of childhood cancer.  Every patient that walks through the front doors is part of the next patient’s journey via the research that’s collected and studied.  With every patient, more is learned and treatments are improved ultimately leading to the cure rate going up.

The bottom line is…when your dollars (yes dollars) are given to St. Jude, they are spread around the globe via the knowledge shared.  Because St. Jude isn’t part of the typical grant system, their discoveries are immediately spread across the globe with the ultimate goal of curing more children.  What can be better than that?

There aren’t words or pictures that can really tell you how much my weekend at St. Jude meant to me.  The only way one can truly understand is to walk through those doors yourself and take a tour, which I strongly urge you to do.  In the mean time, there is no amount to small that will help children fight for their lives.

“They’d rather have a million people give $1 than one person give a million,” Brooke Eden.

You can see our photos from our weekend at St. Jude here.

Donate to St. Jude by clicking the button below to save the lives of children worldwide.

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