GALLERY: First Ukrainian pediatric cancer patients arrive in US at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 12:13 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2022 at 7:20 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The first group of Ukrainian pediatric cancer patients arrived at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Monday night on a U.S. government-operated medical transport aircraft.

Four Ukrainian children and their families arrived at the hospital after evacuating from Ukraine amid a Russian invasion. According to St. Jude, the families were in Poland where they were triaged and sent to cancer centers across Europe, Canada and now Memphis.

This makes the Bluff City hospital the first to take in patients from Ukraine.

“Memphis is a city that has changed the world,” said Mayor Jim Strickland. “One of the things is we have been treating and curing childhood cancer for more than 60 years. As mayor of Memphis, I’m so proud.”

Strickland says St. Jude’s effort exemplifies the Memphis giving spirit.

“These are Memphians working at St. Jude,” said Strickland. “They are the people we see at restaurants, they are our neighbors, they’re lifesavers.”

The patients range from nine months to nine years in age, according to St. Jude. While the children will receive cancer treatment, they will also receive “therapy to address psychological, social, emotional and cultural needs.”

St. Jude says school curriculum is also under development for the patients and their siblings.

Soon after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, St. Jude Global launched the humanitarian effort called SAFER Ukraine. It’s helped translate children’s medical records and coordinate convoys to a triage center in Poland.

More on St. Jude’s latest patients can be found at

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