St. Jude pioneered a combination of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery to treat childhood cancers.
On Average, 5,400 active patients visit the hospital each year, most of whom are treated on an outpatient basis.
St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay.
St. Jude has increased the survival rate of the most common form of childhood cancer, ALL, from 4 percent when the hospital opened to 85 percent today.
Diagnosis: Joshua was found to suffer from medulloblastoma in May 2011.
Joshua is an active, outdoorsy kid. He loves hiking and fishing and has an awesome rock collection. But a month before Joshua turned 8 years old, he started getting headaches almost every afternoon. At first doctors thought it might be allergies or eye strain. His parents even got Joshua glasses. But the headaches only got worse. That's when tests revealed a large mass in Joshua's brain.
"It was as if my heart stopped," said Joshua's mother. "It was devastating."
The tumor was removed at a local hospital and identified as medulloblastoma. Knowing that Joshua would need more treatment, his family turned to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. St. Jude offers medulloblastoma treatment with high success rates on a schedule that's more compressed than that of other hospitals. Soon after, Joshua's St. Jude journey began.
At St. Jude, Joshua's treatment for medulloblastoma lasted six months. Because of the location of his tumor, he had to have 14 radiation treatments on his brain and spine, and then 17 more just on his brain, for a total of 31 treatments. He also received four rounds of chemotherapy.
"Everybody at St. Jude was just wonderful," said Joshua's mom. "They always had answers to our questions, there was never an unknown. And when you're going through something like that, that means the world." Joshua is now done with treatment and returns to St. Jude every three months for scans.
Joshua spends as much time outdoors as possible. He and his family recently returned from a trip to Alaska, where Joshua panned for gold and took a helicopter ride with his dad over Alaska's Denali National Park. Joshua's most recent set of scans were clear.