I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (or ALL) in the 3rd grade. ALL is a blood cancer, so naturally, I went to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for treatment. I underwent nearly three years of chemotherapy, and every single person at St. Jude went above and beyond what was required of them to help me. My doctors and nurses didn't just give me my chemo and send me on my way. Rather, they genuinely cared for my well-being and did everything they could to make me comfortable and to get to know me better. They were the most supportive and loving people I could ever hope to meet. Whenever I had an appointment, my doctor would greet me with a huge grin and an exaggerated "Ni hao ma?" which means "How are you?" in Chinese. That never failed to put a smile on my face. The nurses would never pass up the opportunity to come by my room and chat for a while. If I was feeling sick from the chemo or just having a bad day, there was always someone there to listen and cheer me up.
Over the years, I came to know my doctor and nurses as well as they knew me. They became like a family to me, rooting for me and supporting me through both the good and bad times. This is what St. Jude means to me and all of its patients. It means there is a hospital that puts 110% into saving each and every patient. It means there is a place full of friends who love and care for us. And it means we have a family there that will always have our backs. St. Jude does all this and more and asks for nothing in return. This is why it is so important that we give back to St. Jude so that it can continue to touch the lives of its patients worldwide.
Class of 2018 (11th grade)