Work done at St. Jude in Memphis has global impact

Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 8:31 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Around the world, an estimated 400,000 children will be diagnosed with cancer this year.

It’s no secret ST. Jude does incredible life saving work in the Mid-South.

But when it’s research, medical car and treatment stretch from Danny Thomas Boulevard in Memphis, all the way to Diana’s home in Honduras, that’s a love deeper than the ocean between them.

“It was amazing,” Former St. Jude patient Diana said. “You become a family with everyone, the employees, the other families and we support each other.”

Now 20-years-old and living her best, cancer free life. 7-years-ago, Diana had a much different story to tell.

“We were not staying in the U.S. We were living in Honduras where I was born,” Diana said. “I was diagnosed with leukemia in 2016. St Jude brought us from Honduras to Memphis so that I could be treated.”

Diana spent most of her teen years as a patient at St. Jude.

“I relapsed after finishing my first treatment, and I had a bone marrow transplant about 4 years ago. That’s when i finished treatment,” Diana said. “St Jude is such an amazing place that I was receiving treatment for about 7 years and never did my family get a single bill from my medication, from housing, food, all the things that St Jude provided for us to make this time easier.”

As Diana reflects back on some of the scariest moments she’s experienced on her cancer journey, she can now smile ear to ear, grateful that no matter where a child needs a cure, St. Jude is there.

“I was diagnosed at 13, and they didn’t think I was going to make it over a year and now I’m here almost 8 years later,” Diana said. “With my family sometimes we say St. Jude is a little piece of heaven here on earth. You don’t see sad faces, you see happy faces from the people at registration, from the nurses, everyone, as soon as you walk in, greets you with a smile on their face and it’s something when you’re going through something like a cancer treatment, having someone to give you a smile, sometimes it just makes your day and that is everyday at St Jude.”

As for what she wants to be when she grows up, Diana says she wants to work in communications.

“Right now I’m in college studying communications so hopefully I’ll work with one of you guys in the news...why not?” Diana said.

Until then, she’s on special assignment helping others beat cancer.

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