Sponsors

photo 3Since 1982, starting with the South-West Kiwanis Club of Peoria, the St. Jude Runs have been fortunate to have sponsors who understand and believe in the mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – Finding cures.  Saving children.  These sponsors play a very important role in the overall success of the Runs.  Sponsors contributions of dollars, services and goods allow every dollar raised by a runner to go directly to the research and treatment of kids with life threatening diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

A special mention to Pekin Insurance for their generosity in sponsoring the St. Jude Runs with an annual contribution.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please visit our contact page and email us.

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Why I Run

For the kids. Always the kids.

Meryl Brown October 23, 2014

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 October 23, 2014

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 October 23, 2014