Markell Gregoire From New Iberia, LA Is One Of St. Jude’s Biggest Celebrities
When people think of St. Jude, they think of sick kids. That’s totally understandable, being that they are the go-to hospital when it comes to the treatment of childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Many would think that a place full of sick kids would have to be one of the saddest places on earth, but kids like Markell Gregoire prove that premonition couldn’t be any farther from the truth.
Until I toured St. Jude Children’s Hospital and saw his artwork in the Teen Art Gallery Hallway at the Radio Cares seminar last weekend, I had no idea who Markell was. Well, I take that back. I knew who he “was,” I just didn’t know his name or his full story.
Until this weekend, I only knew about a St. Jude patient from New Iberia who got to announce the Saints 1st round pick of Kenny Vacarro in the 2013 NFL Draft. This year, I found out his name was Markell Gregoire, and he has faced more on his journey in the last four years than most people will face in a lifetime.
Gregoire is a patient at St. Jude who had his left leg amputated over a year ago as a result of osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer that Markell was diagnosed with in 2009. I learned this as he sat on a panel of other St. Jude patients – some past, some present – and told his St. Jude story.
It has been a series of ups and downs as Markell is still receiving treatment, but judging by this kid’s personality – you would never think anything was wrong at all. He’s funny, yet genuine, and has a confident swagger about him that you can’t help but love.
This kid is literally always the coolest guy in the room. Just ask President Clinton.
Clinton is just one of the many celebrities that Markell has had the pleasure of becoming friends with. A tour of the Teen Art wing in the halls of St. Jude shows Markell with stars like Adam Sandler, Michael Strahan, and many more.
But even through all the of the commercials and celebrity shoulder rubbing, his announcement of Kenny Vacarro as a New Orleans Saint is still one of his biggest accomplishments – or has he described it to ALSAC CEO at St. Jude Richard Shadyac,
this, was “the” gig
You’ve heard us tell you all the reasons why you should become a Partner in Hope with St. Jude. The truth is, there really isn’t any reason that you SHOULDN’T – but it’s kids like Markell — kids that are just miles away from where I rest my head at night — that are facing life-threatening diseases like osteosarcoma on a daily basis, and St. Jude is THE place that is giving them hope.
When I had my chance to get a photo with Markell (there was a line… I totally wasn’t kidding about his celebrity status) just being in the presence of his personality lifted my spirits. His bravery, resilience, and overall great attitude was inspirational, and you would never have believed that he had completed a round of chemo just days prior.
Please become a Partner in Hope so that kids like Markell and his mom Monique can always have that feeling that everything will be OK once they walk through those doors at St. Jude. Call 1-800-364-9665 and give today.
If you do it for anyone, do it for Markell. His life depends on us.
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