St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Tour #StJudeBlogTour

Hey Cuties,

I’m so excited to share this post with you; two weeks ago I spent an incredible three days with St. Jude. I told you about Day 1: Our tour of the National Civil Rights Museum. Then I shared my beloved Memphis #FatSnacks. Today I’m sharing Day 2: Our day at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Just in time for September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Thanks to St. Jude for a three day all-expense paid experience of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, National Civil Rights Museum & Memphis, TN.

What is St. Jude? St. Jude is a Children’s Research Hospital that seeks cures for children’s cancer and other life changing diseases they are currently researching. Eligibility includes cancers they treat, sickle cell disease and other blood disorders, Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and genetic conditions that increase a child’s risk of cancer. St. Jude accepts children, adolescents and young adults who are 21 years old or younger at the time of acceptance.

Cancer is diagnosed each year in about 175,000 children ages 14 and under worldwide.

How can you help?

1. Support an event in your city. 2. Donate to St. Jude 3. Fundraise for the kids 4. Visit Chili’s Nationwide Sept. 21st all profits go to St. Jude

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 1
Gracious greeting

Myself and ten other bloggers had the honor of a guided tour of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The experience was so incredible, so heartfelt, yet extremely reassuring. I also became an official St. Jude Ambassador. *body roll*

St Jude Ambassador

A few reasons why St. Jude is Bae.

  • Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food. They only want them to worry about helping their child live.
  • Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened 50+ years ago.
  • St. Jude freely shares the discoveries they make. This means doctors and scientist worldwide can use the knowledge to save thousands of children.
  • It cost $2.2 million per day to operate St. Jude. This is primarily covered by individual contributors.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 3
St. Jude Campus

I will forever cherish my time visiting St. Jude. No parent ever wants to hear “Your child has cancer.” As a parent my heart aches for these families. However, I feel confident in knowing that they are getting their kids some of the best care in the world. They are in the best place ever at the worse time ever.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 2
St. Jude Fall Bloggers + Dr. Jason Schwartz, MD, PhD & Patient Mabury and her Mom & little brother Caleb

Mabury is a 4-year-old patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She has been in their care for two years now, her Mother graciously came and shared their story and experience with us. It was refreshing to see Mabury up and active like any healthy 4-year-old child. Peep her Mermaid dress and bare feet, she is all about her fashion and I am here for it. She also told us she met Keith Urban the day before we got there. Her social life is better than mine. Fun Fact: Mabury told me she loved my lip lapel pin.

Mabry's Story
Mabry’s Story

We asked Mabury’s Mom what do we say to a Mom that finds out her child has cancer or how can we help. I loved her answers, she didn’t want your pity or sympathy that doesn’t help them. What she would like is prayer, meals, a card with something short and sweet. She would even enjoy a card your kids drew for the family.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 4
St. Jude constantly spreads the message of hope.

I must admit prior to my visit I was worried, worried about my heart feeling heavy. I was worried about what I would see and what I would hear. Once I arrived I didn’t feel any of that, what I did feel was hope. There is an incredible amount of hope all over St. Jude, from the patients to the parents to the staff. I didn’t see that coming, but it inspired me. It reminded me to maintain hope no matter what is going on in my life.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 6
St. Jude Flags

The St. Jude flags represent the staff of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – pre employment physicals and health checks aren’t the only things employees receive when they join the team, we were told. If an employee comes on board and they aren’t represented by one of these flags, then they add one for them. So dope, so inclusive, so warm and inviting. They totally get it.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 7
Comics in honor of Founder, Danny Thomas

St. Jude founder Danny Thomas was known in Hollywood as a comedian. When he died February 6, 1991 comic strips around the world were dedicated to him. This wall contains some of those comics in his honor.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 8
St. Jude School

St. Jude patients maintain their schooling during their treatment. They offer teaching staff for K to High School. They have classroom settings for those that are able to come down as well as one on one teaching. Another parenting worry, taken care of. They even host a Kindergarten Graduation, a Senior recognition, St. Jude Formal and they even have summer camp opportunities. St. Jude School currently has six teachers + two ESOL + two staff persons. Pic Inset Bottom Right: I don’t know what was so funny.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 19
St. Jude Hallways

One of the things we noticed while on the tour was the bold colors on the wall. There aren’t any stark white walls in this hospital. Even walking down the hallway sets the tone.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 9
Training dolls for patients and siblings

When you are working with kids of all ages, you have to get creative. These doll are to help familiarize the kids with the changes taking place in their body and how to work, with them.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 10
Life with a port

They can always show them better than they can tell them. My Mom had a port while she got chemo so it warmed my heart a bit to see this doll with a port. {A catheter connects the port to a vein. Under the skin, the port has a septum through which drugs can be injected and blood samples can be drawn many times, usually with less discomfort for the patient than a more typical “needle stick”. – Wikipedia} This is an excellent way to teach a child. This doll has changeable parts and pieces depending on what you need to teach at that time. If I pull the front flat up it is just a regular looking chest. The pieces Velcro on and off for ease of use. So freaking smart.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 12
Executive Chef Michael Vetro, Jr.

Dietary is very important for the patients at St. Jude. We had the opportunity to hang out with Executive Chef Michael Vetro, Jr. and he shared St. Jude’s “foodlosophy” and gave us some hands on experience. He does patient cooking activities, test recipes for the Kay Kafe and collaborates with the Living Well team to create healthy alternatives for the faculty and staff.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 13

We made our own parfait, we had a lot of toppings but I’m a less is more when it comes to yogurt. My parfait includes yogurt, granola and fresh strawberries. We put all of our ingredients in a sandwich bag and smashed them together ourselves. Clipped the corner of the bag and squeeze them on to our plate.

Fresh ingredients are so important at St. Jude so they have their own garden. It has 70 raised beds, 1 greenhouse and several hoop houses for carrot, celery and lettuce. While health is important growing food also saves a lot of money.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 14
St. Jude Fall Bloggers 2016

This was an awesome group of new friends. We meshed well immediately and now we are forever bonded by this experience. They are all so dope.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 15
St. Jude Patient and future cowgirl Marleigh

I had a great time doing arts and crafts with some of the patients at St. Jude. I must say Marleigh stole my heart with her larger than life personality. She told me she wants to be a Cowgirl when she grows up. When I asked if she had cowgirl boots she told me she had several and a hat. Ms. Marleigh is always camera ready, she is my spirit animal only a bit stronger.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 17
Elayna & I

We couldn’t let the kids have all of the fun. So we got in on the action too.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 18
St. Jude Partners

St. Jude has been so fortunate to have some amazing partners that believe in their work and mission. Kay Jewelers Kay Research and Care Center is a seven story building that opened in 2015. They made a donation of $50 million in 2014. The Kay Kafe is located in this building, that is where we ate lunch. The cafeteria seats 500 and serves about 2,200 each day.

Chili’s Grill & Bar – Chili’s Care Center opened in 2007. They also donated $50 million and were the first medical building on the St. Jude campus named after a corporate partner. Wednesday, September 21st is St. Jude Day at all Chili’s nationwide including Puerto Rico & Canada. 100% of the profits go to St. Jude. Create-A-Pepper – Sept. 1 – 21 purchase co-branded merchandise and add a St. Jude donation to your check. Chili’s is one of the hospital’s larges corporate partners.

I look forward to sharing more of the amazing things St. Jude is doing.

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with St. Jude #StJudeBlogTour_edited

What do you know about St. Jude? Chat with me in the comment below or FB, IG or Twitter.


Similar Posts


    1. I didn’t know either Kayvona. I’m told they don’t do a lot of hospital tours and I get it. They don’t want to constantly disrupt their patient families.

    1. Thanks KenyaRae. It is so important to share all aspects of my life. I love me a good party, and St. Jude turns up but I was honored to share their dope work.

  1. This was a great post! How can we become apart of St. Jude Bloggers? I would love to volunteer to do something like this! I was just in Memphis and I absolutely loved the National Civil Rights Museum, I spent 4-5 hours there!

  2. When I first visited St Jude, i was very nervous that it would be a sad place. I really don’t like hospitals so I was scared. Well, little did I know that it would be so full of life, happiness, and joy. I love that you got an opportunity to experience one of my favorite places. The work that they are doing is a huge blessings to moms like me. Thanks for what you’re doing to help get the word out out St. Jude

    1. I had the same worry, I’m so thankful that my thoughts were wrong. They are simply incredible, I will continue to scream their goodness from the mountain tops.

  3. This looks so amazing! And I’m so glad you all got to experience this! As a mom who has a daughter with special medical needs, its really heartwarming to see someone take out the time to bring just the smallest amount of joy to these babies and their families

  4. I’ve always been impressed with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Now, I’m even more so. I love their colorful walls and the feeling of hope within those walls. I’m also grateful to sponsors like Chili’s and Kay’s that make it all possible.

  5. What a wonderful cause to blog for. I can’t imagine how much love is in that hospital. We have Great Ormand Street here in the UK, and people are constantly supporting them. Who knows where many of us would be without them?

  6. I love the work that St Jude’s Children’s Hospital does! It is such an amazing place! I am always looking for ways to support them! Looks like you had an amazing experience!

  7. I always say if I was a millionaire I’d be giving a million to this place! I think this is probably one of my favorite charities to donate to. These kids do not deserve to be sick and I am so happy that there is a place that kids can be taken and parents don’t have to worry about one bill!

  8. What a great cause and kudos to you on becoming an ambassador. The work done at St. Judes, just on a daily basis is amazing.

  9. What an amazing place! It’s so cool that families never receive bills from them- the families only have to worry about getting their child better. I also love that St. Jude shares their research with other doctors so kids around the world can benefit.

  10. St. Judes is such a great hospital! I was a part of a fundraising event with them once and was blown away by everything they do.

  11. This is such a great hospital I have heard great things about St Jude’s children hospital. Glad you are spreading the word.

  12. St. Jude is an amazing hospital that gives hope to families who might otherwise find their situation helpless. It is wonderful that there is an establishment that not only takes care of the sick child, but promotes healing in the entire family.

  13. I have heard so much about St. Jude so this is wonderful you are bringing more light to them! I personally know some families helped by St. Jude and their wonderful work! so this is amazing.

  14. St Jude deos so many great things for families in need! I thick its great that they’re starting to spread the word even more! Always hear the greatest things about them!

  15. Love St. Jude and their mission. I’ve donated to their cause on several occasions. It’s great that they are able to help families in need out. Having a loved one with cancer takes a lot. I can only imagine suffering as a child.

  16. It’s pretty cool they gave you an inside look into their program. Now, through reading your blog more people are aware about what St. Jude offers.

  17. This looks like it was such an amazing trip. The tour seems like it gave so much information and awesome things to do.

Comments are closed.