As the parent of a son who was a patient of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, I’ve come to understand more than most how the organization is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. And as a mother of a cancer survivor, I sincerely appreciate St. Jude’s purpose: Finding cures. Saving children.

Like the other families of St. Jude patients, we never received a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – all we had to do was focus on helping Dakota get better.

One of the things we learned during our experience is that treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened in 1962. Because a majority of St. Jude funding comes from generous donors, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most— saving kids regardless of their financial situation.

We will be forever grateful for what St. Jude provided for Dakota and our family and will always be fierce advocates for their organization and their mission.