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St. Jude Information

Built on a promise

St. Jude owes its existence to a promise made during the Depression era by a struggling entertainer, Danny Thomas. Turning to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes, Thomas vowed: “Show me my way in life and I will build you a shrine.”

That simple promise and his later success as a television star led Thomas to found St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which opened in 1962. Today, St. Jude is a legendary hub of achievement and accomplishment. In fact, physicians and scientists at St. Jude pioneered treatments that helped push the overall survival rate for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent in 1962 to more than 80 percent today. The cure rate for the most common form of childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, has risen from 4 percent in 1962 to 94 percent today.

At St. Jude, research findings and breakthroughs are quickly and enthusiastically shared with health care professionals around the world. Doctors and researchers from every part of the globe come to St. Jude to study, collaborate and bring knowledge back home.

St. Jude, which is non-sectarian, has approximately 5,700 patients in active status. It treats children from all over the world without regard to race, religion or creed. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer center where families never pay for treatments that are not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. It costs more than $1.9 million per day to operate St. Jude, so the support of everyone is needed.