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Why St. Jude?

Danny Thomas w/ St. Jude statue
Courtesy St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

We pose the question “why St. Jude?” not to ask “why CHOOSE St. Jude hospital?” Rather, we ask the question to help you understand, in case you don’t already know, why is it called St. Jude, as in St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Every Acadiana Catholic will really appreciate the story behind the hospital and its name.

The hospital’s founder Danny Thomas was a young, struggling entertainer with a baby on the way. He went to mass, gave his last $7, and prayed fervently that the medical bills for the baby and his wife would be covered. When he returned home, he received a call with an offer for a job that paid him ten times the amount he had left in the collection plate. He realized, then, the power of prayer.

A few years later and still struggling, Danny returned to church. His prayer included an intercession to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of desperate cases. He prayed “help me find my way in life, and I will build you a shrine.” At the time, Danny had no idea what that promise meant or how it would affect the lives of so many.

Danny decided that a hospital for children with catastrophic diseases, like cancer, was going to be the fulfillment of that promise. But it wouldn’t just be a hospital. It would be a place that would conduct research into these diseases to find a cure for them.

And no family would pay for the treatment. Ever.

Danny, his wife Rose Marie, his friends of Arab and Lebanese decent, and his compadres in the entertainment industry worked to fund the project that would be the realization of that promise. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital opened its doors in 1962.

Today, the majority of the $1.9-million per day operating costs for St. Jude still comes from private donations. And still to this day, NO FAMILY receives a bill for the exceptional care their child receives from St. Jude.

In the most desperate of situations, St. Jude remains a beacon of hope for children and families who need a place to turn when all else seems hopeless.

To help keep Danny’s promise alive, become a Partner in Hope today. Call 1-800-364-9665 right now!

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