By Randy Key
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital opened in 1962, when the survival rate for the most common childhood cancer was only 4 percent.
The late entertainer Danny Thomas founded St. Jude, with a mission to find cures for children with catastrophic diseases, through research and treatment.
And now, 50 years later, that survival rate has jumped to 94 percent.
St. Jude was the first pediatric cancer research institution to place doctors, scientists and patients “all under one roof”, creating a worldwide model for “bench-to-bedside” research and treatment of life-threatening childhood diseases…revolutionizing pediatric cancer treatment with its groundbreaking combination of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.
The daily operating cost is $1.7 million, which is primarily covered by public contributions…81 cents of every dollar received has supported the research and treatment at St. Jude.
No family ever pays St. Jude for anything.
The hospital trains thousands of medical professionals around the world through consultations and faculty visits…and has 18 partner sites in 14 countries.
In addition to childhood cancers, St. Jude researchers and doctors are treating children with genetic immune defects and pediatric AIDS, and are using new drugs and therapies to fight infections.
Par Tee At The Park, which was held Thursday night in Evans, raised funds to support St. Jude.
The event featured Augusta native Josh Kelley and country music group Little Big Town. There was also a special stage dedication for Kelley.