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Otterbein St. Jude visits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Otterbein St. Jude visits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

By Kerigan McNamara ‘17

At the beginning of May, four students got into a car for a nine hour drive. Their destination: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Kerigan McNamara ‘17, Kiersten Taylor ‘18, Danielle Cole ‘17 and Kaitlyn Garner ‘16 are all executive board members of Otterbein St. Jude, a student organization that raises funds and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Otterbein’s campus through various events and activities.

“As we approached Danny Thomas Place, a street named after the hospital’s founder, it all became so real,” said McNamara. “This is where all of our efforts go towards. The patients and parents we saw in the waiting rooms, the faculty and staff we passed in the halls and the incredible philosophy of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are all here because of donors.”

No family ever receives a bill from St. Jude. Treatment, travel, housing and food costs are all covered because the only thing a family should worry about is loving their child. The four students volunteered at one of the three free housing facilities that are offered for families as their child receives treatment. At The Target House, they assisted staff as patients and their families walked by with warm greetings.

“Prior to visiting, I thought I would see children that were sad and unhappy,” said Taylor. “The amount of smiles I witnessed on their faces reassured me that St. Jude gives them and their families hope. They are grateful for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I’m also grateful to be able to be give back.”

After learning more about the hospital’s history at the Danny Thomas Pavilion and hearing about the newest research and expansions that St. Jude is undergoing, the students left with heightened passion for the hospital and their student organization.

“The trip was such a humbling experience that left a significant impact on all of us,” said Taylor. “Because of the student life fee, we are now able to carry the patient’s faces with us as motivation in our campus initiatives so that as Danny Thomas said, ‘no child should die in the dawn of life.’”


Students who would like to learn more about Otterbein St. Jude can contact Executive Director Kerigan McNamara at kerigan.mcnamara@otterbein.edu.