The St. Jude Memphis Marathon weekend digital expertise turns into the worldwide celebration of heroism and hope
Before race day, dedicated St. Jude Heroes were given the Notable Hero Among Us recognition, usually bestowed on a person who exemplifies the St. Jude spirit. This year it was shared among 2,600 runners who, in an unprecedented year, have continued to fund the fundraiser for the patient families in St. Jude who never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because they’re all a family should worry, help her child live.
“St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is one of my favorite events of the year, from the electrifying opening ceremony to participants running and walking around the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital campus to the emotional celebrations at the finish Patients, families, St. Jude Heroes and thousands of supporters, “said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness raising organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “While this year had to be virtual to keep everyone safe, today I am overwhelmed by the thousands of St. Jude supporters around the world who have continued to support us from afar, from the military base in, around the world Kuwait to the St. Jude Hero in the Swiss Alps to our Heroes in Memphis and other places across America. Their tenacity and commitment, as can be seen in doctors, nurses, researchers and patient families in St. Jude, show once again that everything is possible together. ”
Before the official race day, some registered participants logged their miles in the form of virtual race challenges. One of these participants, a three-time cancer survivor Hillary husband, completed a 5K, 10K and half marathon from their location in LouisianaShe slowed down long enough to get her Masters in math along the way. On Saturday, husband ran the entire marathon in honor of her very first marathon, which she completed in slippers over the weeks after a bone marrow transplant in the halls of St. Jude. Her IV pole followed her.
The marathon week began in a spectacular way last Sunday with an opening ceremony, followed by a week of virtual programs that included a tour of a St. Jude research laboratory with Dr. Elizabeth Stewart, deputy member of the oncology department; the unveiling of a digital mosaic with hundreds of images of participants; a virtual No More Cancer rally; and the unveiling of the official marathon pace car sponsored by the Landers Auto Group, bearing the names of more than 2,000 St. Jude Heroes.
Participants from Memphis, Dallas, Seattle and even places as far away as Switzerland Photos and videos of their experiences shared with #StJudeHeroes and #RunForStJude. Many celebrated their finish line by wearing their racing shirts and finisher medals.
Nowhere is St. Jude’s mission more felt than in his hometown Memphiswhere Paula and her family took part in the memory of their daughter and siblings, Carson Elizabeth. The family has been participating in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend since Carson’s death in 2015 because, as Paula wrote on her donation page for St. Jude Hero, it would be what Carson would have wanted.
Tony Reed, Co-founder of the National Black Marathoners Association and the first black man in the world to run a marathon on all seven continents, took part in the virtual experience of Dallas, promised to return Memphis in 2021 for the 20th anniversary of the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend. For his run Travis Ilitch, a 17-year-old St. Jude devotee from the Detroit Area that has increased over $ 85,000 for St. Jude completed a 5K with his mother in memory of a St. Jude patient he never met but who would have graduated from high school this year, just like Travis.
The work that St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is doing today is only possible thanks to the support of the community. Thanks in part to St. Jude Heroes, fitness enthusiasts who raise more money than they do while exercising $ 90 million raised throughout the history of the St. Jude Memphis Marathon® weekend, making sure St. Jude doesn’t stop until no child dies of cancer.
It’s not too late to sponsor a friend, family member, or St. Jude Hero who has participated in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend Virtual Experience – donations are still open January 4th at the stjude.org/marathondonate.
About the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a world leader in understanding, treating, and defeating childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: to find a cure. Rescuing children. It is the only comprehensive cancer center designated exclusively by children by the National Cancer Institute. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped increase overall childhood cancer survival rates from 20 percent to over 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won’t stop until a child dies of cancer. 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. Families are never billed from St. Jude for treatment, travel, accommodation, or food – because a family should only care about helping their child with life. Participate in the St. Jude Mission by visiting stjude.org, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, and subscribing to the YouTube channel.
SOURCE ALSAC / St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital