St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital aims to end childhood cancer

Participants of the St. Jude walk 
Photo credit: Javon Cohen and Ishmael Millien 

On Saturday, Nov. 11, St. Jude supporters across Tallahassee joined together to participate in the St. Jude Walk to end childhood cancer. The family friendly 5K walk/run was held at SouthWood Town Center to help raise money and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

St. Jude was able to raise $41,941 with the help of their national series, gold and silver sponsors such as Target, Thrivent, American Airlines, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.  

A very particular pair of volunteers at the St. Jude 5K walk/run was seven-year-patient Braden and his mother Lauren. Braden was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had to go through hours of surgery and radiation therapy.

“The organization basically saved my life and that I’m very grateful and want to do everything I can to help pay them back,” Braden said.  

Braden participated in several “Give Thanks” walks while living in Tennessee and is currently volunteering every year with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“They have been working with the organization since they moved here in 2013, back when it was named the Run for Kids,” Lauren said. “The run used to be in November, but with September being National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, made it the perfect time to rally your friends, family and community in support.”

Later, St. Jude was given an office in Tallahassee and was able to incorporate the official name, St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer.

Members of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
participating in the St. Jude walk | Photo credit: Javon Cohen and Ishmael Millien 

Tykia Maxwell is a junior at Florida A&M University who participated in the St. Jude walk/run that said the experience was amazing and that she would be returning next year.

“The experience was amazing. It filled my heart to know how many people would come out and support such a great cause,” Maxwell said. “Although the event got pushed back due to the hurricane, we came back and hit the ground running with planning the event and making it come to fruition. This event is annual and I am excited to work with the team next year.”

The St. Jude walk/run started with 75 runners and has grown to 50 teams with over 300 individuals helping bring awareness to end cancer.

St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.