Darren Warren is a country artist. He has a beautiful song called Miracle In Memphis. He is a former St. Jude patient. According to Wikipedia, “Warren was 16 years old when he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. The doctor’s prognosis was dire, Warren was given less than a 50-percent chance of survival. He spent the next three years at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee seeking treatment. Warren began treatment at St. Jude on January 5, 1999. Over an almost three-year period, he endured over 120 rounds of chemotherapy. In 2001, Warren was diagnosed as cancer free.”
When people think of Memphis they think of Elvis, Beale Street, bar-be-que. But the real heart of the city sits right next to the highway. It stands big and tall and beautiful. It’s campus is bright and colorful and inviting. It looks like a haven of relaxation, a vacation destination, a good place to throw down a blanket and lay down under the warm sun with a book. It doesn’t look like a hospital. It looks like a place to enjoy life, and that is exactly what the hospital does. Children and their families are given the opportunity to grab life and live it to the fullest.
When people think of the patients of St. Jude they think of the small children, but Darren Warren was 16-years-old when he was diagnosed. He was at the age when he should have been driving around with his friends, flirting with girls and asking them out on dates, playing football at school, and cramming for tests. Instead his teenage years were interrupted by cancer. He beat it, and now supports the hospital that gave him his life.
The hospital was not opened to make doctors or some healthcare conglomerate rich. It was opened on February 4, 1962 to treat, and hopefully one day eradicate, cancer. Danny Thomas opened the original little 5-wing hospital for the kids. Because of, and based predominantly on, donations from people around the world St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has grown to a huge campus that never closes. Research is able to continue because people like you believe in Danny Thomas’ dream as much as he did.