When Susan was 17 years old, she had a particularly bad chest cold. Even after she recovered, it seemed that drawing a breath required willpower. Then, she started coughing up blood. When an X-ray revealed a tumor covering forty percent of Susan’s chest, her family was devastated. They turned to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for Susan’s treatment and care. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from twenty percent to eighty percent, since it opened more than 50 years ago.
At St. Jude, tests revealed Susan suffered from Hodgkin lymphoma. Since the tumor was so close to Susan’s heart, doctors at St. Jude did not want to risk removing it surgically. Susan’s treatment included four weeks of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation therapy
“Our doctors at home didn’t give us any hope,” said Susan’s mother, Patricia. “But, St. Jude provided us with all the hope in the world.”
The treatment that Susan received at St. Jude is just one example of the amazing work that St. Jude does every day. For the tenth year, CVS/pharmacy is proud to support the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Thanks and Giving campaign, a unique holiday program that raises awareness and funds for the pioneering research and exceptional care provided at St. Jude.
From now through the end of December, CVS Caremark colleagues, like Susan’s mom Patricia who has been a CVS Caremark colleague for more than 15 years, will encourage customers to add $1 or $3 to their purchases at the register in support of the campaign. Customers online will also have the opportunity to donate $1 at www.cvs.com/StJude.
Funds raised by CVS/pharmacy customers and colleagues during the campaign support the CVS Caremark Rehabilitation Services Center at St. Jude, which provides audiology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language pathology services to St. Jude patients to help them overcome barriers they face in recovery.
Today, Susan remains cancer-free. “Because of St. Jude, I can say that I am a survivor,” said Susan.
Susan and her husband are expecting their first child, a girl, later this year. It will be the first grandchild on both sides of the family. Susan’s pregnancy came as a surprise as fertility doctors had told her she wouldn’t be able to have children as a result of her cancer treatment.
"We’re so excited,” Susan said. “It’s pretty awesome. We can’t wait for our daughter to arrive.”
Today is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Thanks and Giving campaign Buzz Day. Use #ThanksandGiving in your social posts today to join the conversation and help support St. Jude and all the work it does to treat children with cancer and the lifesaving research it shares with experts across the world to help find cures. The more you share #ThanksandGiving, the faster the BuzzMeter climbs and the further your messages will blast to help St. Jude end childhood cancer forever.