Last Saturday as many geared up for the Superbowl, ESA members converged on Tampa, FL for the bi-yearly Thank You ESA Day arranged by St. Jude/ALSAC. ESA has been partnered with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
since 1972, raising more than $250 million during our 45 year partnership. Our members truly share Danny Thomas’ founding dream that ‘No child should die in the dawn of life’.
The Thank You ESA Day event is a day filled with inspiring patient stories and St. Jude speakers, the latest news on fundraising and research straight from St. Jude, and a chance for ESA members to reflect and celebrate all of the hard work they have put in to end childhood cancer.
We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our members who were able to travel to Tampa to share in this special day. For those who were not able to join us, here are some highlights:
- The hospital strives to provide the best nutrition for patients through their on-site gardens. ESA members got to learn about the inner workings of the gardens and the Kay Cafe as told by a few of the chefs on staff. See a quick clip of an interview with one of the chefs.
- Members got a virtual tour of the community rooms in theTarget House, the long term living accommodation for patients and their families. We learned about all the cutting edge efforts that St. Jude makes to ensure patients get to live a normal life, including a partnership with Dreamworks animation that allows patients to see movies the same say they come out in theaters from the comfort of the St. Jude campus.
- We were also treated to updates about the pharmacy at St. Jude. Members learned about St. Jude's incredible ability to make life saving medications on the campus to save cost and to customize dosage for their patients.
- St. Jude unveiled their partnership with Lyft, the ride sharing app, that allows you to automatically round up your ride total to the nearest dollar and donate the change to St. Jude. Learn how you can start rounding up for St. Jude through Lyft.
- Skyler Cruthirds, the sister of St. Jude patient, Alex, creator of Alex's Army, one of the most successful Memphis Marathon fundraising teams, shared her experience with St. Jude as an older sibling. "It's hard to be an older sibling, because they do a lot [to distract] the younger siblings, but an older sibling isn't going to [feel better] playing with Legos," she said. Skyler added that the hope that St. Jude gave her and her family inspired her to continue fundraising for St. Jude and eventually lead to her working for ALSAC. Even though her brother's cancer has been in remission, she says they all still fight for her brother's friends who didn't make it.
- To help fill a need at St. Jude for blank Valentines that the kids can hand out to their loved ones, members got crafty and made homemade blank Valentin's for the kids.
If you are interested in getting involved be sure to learn more about ESA’s work for St. Jude and our historic partnership.