I’m Always Learning Something New About St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital
I'm entering my second year of being a part of the KEAN-105 St. Jude's Radiothon to benefit the Children's Research Hospital. Like many of you, I knew a little about what the hospital is all about just from catching commercials on TV before I was lucky enough to be involved with the annual fundraiser. Now, I'm learning more facts about St. Jude all the time. This is some pretty impressive stuff, so I feel compelled to share three things I did not know about St. Jude until today.
When you make a donation to St. Jude Hospital, it goes toward life-saving research. But it goes beyond simply saving kids' lives. St. Jude was the first to study a computer-based, 3-D radiation therapy technique for pediatric brain tumor treatment. This form of treatment is designed to minimize damage to healthy tissue and preserve cognitive development in children, which means the intense treatment these children undergo attacks more of the bad, and less of the good. Imagine a child being not only saved, but recovering faster and having better quality of life thanks to the technology used at St. Jude.
When St. Jude Children's Research Hospital was founded in 1962, the survival rate for childhood cancers was 20%. 1 in 5 children would not survive this terrible disease. Today, thanks to St. Jude and the protocols the hospital has developed, the rate is 80%. Four out of five kids survive childhood cancer.
I already knew this, to an extent. But what I didn't know is that breakthrough research was conducted at St. Jude that made the production a new avian flu vaccine possible. the vaccine is undergoing clinical trials now and could be used as a precaution against a worldwide human epidemic. I can't remember the last time we didn't have an influenza epidemic of some sort spreading, if not in our region, then somewhere close by. This research could end the threat of a flu virus spreading throughout the world.