Mission

To support the mission of ALSAC and provide funds, raised through running events, to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. These funds are to be used for the continued research and care of children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Meet Azalea’s family

“Hearing that your 2-year-old has cancer is the most devastating news a parent could ever get.”

– Simone, St. Jude patient Azalea’s mom

It’s almost always sunny in Jamaica, where Azalea and her family live. They spend a lot of time on the beach. Life is laid back. But in January 2016, a cloud settled over Azalea’s parents, Simone and Ricardo, when they learned she had a type of soft tissue cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma. “Everything became dark,” Ricardo said.

Azalea’s family obtained a referral to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and as soon as they arrived, everything changed. “Hearing that your 2-year-old has cancer is the most devastating news a parent could ever get,” said Simone. “We were familiar with St. Jude because of their commercials. We knew St. Jude was the best possible place for a child with cancer, and that’s what we wanted for Azalea.”

Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90%, and we won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.

At St. Jude, Azalea’s treatment included surgery and chemotherapy. While in Memphis, Tenn., where St. Jude is located, Simone gave birth to a baby girl named Hadley, whom Azalea adores. Azalea is finished with treatment and her family is back home. When it’s time for Azalea’s checkups, the whole family comes back to St. Jude. Memphis has become a second home for them and, by extension, St. Jude has become a part of their family.

“All I saw was darkness when Azalea was diagnosed,” Ricardo said. “St. Jude brought me back to life. Now I look forward to going to the beach with her, to seeing her grow up.” Simone puts her thoughts about St. Jude simply. “St. Jude saved our lives,” she said. “They saved our family.”

Families never receive a bill

Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80%.

St. Jude has helped push the childhood cancer survival rate from less than 20% when we opened to 80% today. We won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. Our founder believed that “no child should die in the dawn of life,” and we’ve spent more than half a century focusing on our mission: Finding cures. Saving children.®

Saving children everywhere.

St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.

More than 75% of operating costs must come from generous donors.

It will cost approximately $1 billion to operate St. Jude this year. Because more than 75% comes from generous donors, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most — saving kids regardless of their financial situation.

St. Jude Runs Team

I do it for the kids! <3 st jude

Angelia Hill Ellis

For the kids! Finally got to the hospital in Memphis after this last run from St. Louis! I’ll be running every year I physically can after that visit!

Staci Strawbridge

For the love and hopes of the kids. Love the comradery as well!

Melissa Nicole Bakel

As the holidays of 2008 came and went, we noticed a change in Tess.  Our sweet princess seemed to be tired, a little pale, and sporadically complaining of leg pain.  We took her to our family doctor for a check up and blood work.  Nothing was alarming, so we decided to wait and watch.  Within a week, we could easily see that she was getting worse.  Tess had several body scans and tests which kept coming back with no clear answer.  Our family was sent to St. Jude in Peoria in January of 2009 where we were given life-changing news.  Tess, 3 at the time, had a tumor in her adrenal gland and cancer cells in her bone marrow.  She was diagnosed with stage 4, high-risk neuroblastoma.   We were lucky enough to stay at the Midwest Affiliate in Peoria for her initial diagnosis and her first surgery.  She had a week to recover and then we headed to Memphis.  Tess was given a 20-30% prognosis at that time.

Between Memphis and Peoria, Tess faced 10 months of chemotherapy, a stem-cell harvest and transplant, several surgeries, 13 rounds of radiation and 6 month antibody therapy treatment.  When we started the journey, the antibody was not available.  Because of the on-going research happening at St. Jude, Tess’s prognosis jumped to 70%!  Not only does St. Jude provide cutting edge medical treatment, they also provide HOPE.  Without the care and love that every staff member showered on our entire family, hope would have been lost.  St. Jude was able to care for Tess’s medical needs, our emotional needs, as well as our financial needs.  St. Jude saved our daughter’s life.

Today, Tess is a healthy, happy 9 year old girl.  She is in 4th grade and loves to play outside, shop, cook, and dreams to one day be an artist.  This July, she will celebrate a milestone and earn a new title, “cured”.

Princess Tess Swearingen

I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, in September 1988. At 10 years old, the biggest worry I had ever faced was passing spelling tests…and in the blink of an eye, my biggest worry was now whether or not I was going to live or die!  But, St. Jude was there and gave me hope!  The summer after I was diagnosed, I was in Memphis getting chemotherapy, and remember meeting this strange group of people.  They were runners and were getting ready to travel back to PEORIA, for the kids of St. Jude!  Now, running was about as bad as chemo in my book, so I could not believe that people I had never even met were willing to this “horrible” thing… for me!  As the time passed, I got to know some of the runners and what amazing people they were.  In fact, they inspired another patient and me to make a promise to one another that we would get healthy enough to be runners someday.  Well, about a year after my friend and I made that pact, he passed away, never getting the chance to run.  I was determined to run for him!  But, soon after he passed and I went off chemo, I relapsed.  This time my battle seemed harder, but St. Jude never gave up on me, and the hope of becoming a runner helped me never give up either!  I am happy to say that was over 20 years ago!  I am now a HEALTHY wife, mother, and Memphis to Peoria Runner!!!  2014 was my 17th year running!  I run to prove I beat cancer, I run for all the patients who will never get the chance, I run to show current patients there is hope, and I run to show all the runners that ever step DOES make a difference in the life of a child!  Thank you!

Amy Jones

For the Kids!

Lauren Bearden

I have healthy kids that can run do I run for those who can’t

Tony Helmuth

Because I’ve had a few students who have been patients and have made me more aware of this cause. My first run was this year and I will continue until I can no longer run:) Ed Gaitros If you could see the strength of the St. Jude children you would understand Monica Hogan Reeder Because we can.

Barb Nalley Fritz

Because Max Duzan is cancer free because of St. Jude!

Hannah Duzan Crnkovich

Because I have two healthy kids and am really good at fundraising…not so good at the running 🙂

Desirae Hood Smick

I have 6 healthy children and I want to run for this who can’t. 2 of my kids will be joining our team next year.

Stephanie Wilson

For those who can’t!

Robyn Hendel

All for the St Jude Kids!

Peggy Bargmann Fisher

For those who can’t!!

Samantha Klingler

For the kids. Always the kids.

Meryl Brown

For my daughter Olivia. For all the children and families affected by childhood cancers. For the friends and the fun.

Tameria Patton

JLB of Mason City ILL and all children that are battling cancer.

Heather Beneky Musgrove

For my superhero, Jerett Fauser!!

Danielle Fauser

Because God gave me legs so I can give back to those who cannot run!

Debbie Collins

I’m not much of a runner but I seem to have a knack for fundraising and what better cause to do it for. Just knowing that every penny I help raise goes to saving a child’s life- well no better reason than that!

Jennie Edwards Mulder

Why not…it is mind clearing and I do it to help others in their quest to be healthier.

Holly Becker Geier

It is my way of giving back for all that St. Jude has done for my family. I know that I may never be able to raise the amount necessary for what it takes to save a child’s life like my son, Kyle Strube, but I will always put forth my best effort. Thank you St. Jude!!

Denise Skaggs Strube-Pieper

FOR THE KIDS, and my health, and the fun

Shawn Michael Garnett

St. Jude News

View All News