Last week I had another amazing evening at the St. Jude Call to Service event hosted by the National Pan-Hellenic Council. This is my third year attending and it gets better and better every time. Each year we meet an amazing St. Jude patient and hear their story. Then we enjoy the musical sounds of amazing artist like Kelly Price, Regina Belle, and this year Raheem Devaughn.
Each year I always wrestle over what I am going to wear. The Divine Nine show up and show out in their finest threads. So I must come to play. This look was an oldie but a goodie.
They had St. Jude patient signs at the outside entrance of The Hamilton LIVE on 14th Street, NW in Washington, DC. This was so smart because folks walking by could see and read the signs and be moved to donate. Yes to the marketing department.
At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, Dallas is being treated for familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and Gardner syndrome, which he inherited from his father. FAP is an inherited disorder characterized by cancer of the colon, while Gardner syndrome is a form of FAP characterized by multiple colorectal polyps and various types of tumors, both cancerous and noncancerous. The type of tumors Dallas has are noncancerous.
Dallas has undergone two surgeries to remove tumor growth. When he was 7 years old, Dallas began taking oral chemotherapy to keep the tumors stable. Around this time, his father passed away from complications due to Gardner syndrome.
During Dallas’ most recent visit to St. Jude, he stopped taking oral chemotherapy, and his care team is determining future treatment options, including surgery to remove tumor growth, intravenous chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. He’s being monitored for FAP and has already begun to undergo yearly colonoscopies.
Despite the challenges Dallas faces, he’s an outgoing and funny kid. He loves telling jokes and solving riddles. “Dallas has a lot of love for God,” Tekia said. “He’s given Dallas strength and he’s just so positive.” Dallas loves coming to St. Jude and always makes sure to visit his nurses.
Dallas’ mom Tekia shared a heartfelt version of their experience with St. Jude. It made you proud that St. Jude was such a savior for them, and sad because this disease is so intense. Both Dallas’ father and grandfather died in their 30’s from the same cancer. She shared that Dallas has tumors in his gums that are preventing his adult teeth from coming in. When Tekia learned she’d never receive a bill from St. Jude, she said a burden was lifted. “We’re free to worry about getting Dallas well,” she said. To help give back, Dallas’ family has formed a St. Jude Heroes team. “I know because of St. Jude, we’re going to be taken care of,” said Tekia. “On days when Dallas is so sick and I am so weary, I know because of St. Jude, we’ll be okay. For me, St. Jude is a manifestation of God’s love in action.”
R&B singer and philanthropist Raheem Devaughn took the stage with Wes Felton.
He tore it up, yall missed it. I’ve been a fan for a long time, so this was perfect.
I came, I gave, I laughed, I sang, I did an interview, enjoyed the food and added another good night to the books.
Thank you to everyone for the support, I appreciate it. You can still help me reach my goal St. Jude Team Mimi’s Cuties and you can do it with me in DC September 29th to walk/run.