14 August 2013

A visit to st. jude children's research hospital with the brizo #blogger19

a few weeks back, i was thrilled to be part of a blogger reunion in memphis put together by brizo with all the designers and bloggers who have attended brizo's amazing NYC #blogger19 fashion week events over the last few years.
st. jude, patron saint of lost causes
 brizo wanted to the opportunity while over 80 of us were together to introduce us to st. jude children's research hospital, a charity the folks at brizo partner with on st jude's fundraising "dream home" effort (st jude has raised over 260 million dollars via the dream homes and brizo has donated over 1.3 million to those efforts).
the brizo #blogger 19 gang
i'm so delighted that brizo made the introduction, because like many people, i had heard of the st jude name, but had no idea what they actually do, and now that i know, i can state that it is a cause i am 100% behind: treating and researching children's cancers, and making sure that no child treated by st. jude EVER receives a bill. the way it should be.

flags from the countries with doctors working at st. jude.  all research results are posted online for world wide access with NO profit motive. isn' that the way medicine should be?
at first,  i was concerned when told of our hospital tour, because  as you may know, m21 is a crier, and i knew that i would blubber like a baby seeing all the sick kids at st. jude ("mommy why is that strange man crying?") , but what i didn't anticipate was how much i would smile too- there is so much hope at st. jude, you can't help but be touched by it.
rockin out in the brizo photo booth
during our day at st. jude, we had all kinds of activities where we interacted with the kids, and you know what? though lots didn't have hair because of the chemo, in every other way they were just normal little kids, laughing and playing and being silly. so heart warming.

a cutie enjoying the brizo designed and donated dollhouse.
i worked a photo booth, disinfecting the props in between groups of kids getting their rockstar photo on (didn't want to spread anything around), and brizo designed and built some amazing dollhouses for the kids. everyone, kids, families and us brizo peeps, all had a great time!

the wallpaper  and flooring is interchangeable in each doll house room- so cool.
 a serious effort was put into the design of the hospital and the nearby family housing to keep things fun, and engaging (st. jude believes in keeping the whole family together during a child's treatment, and families of patients are given free housing and even grocery money). all areas are decorated with art made by the kids, which i LOVE- what kid doesn't love seeing their art hung up?
this patient drawn elephant was fantastic.
a snippet from one of the arts and crafts rooms- there are tv rooms, music rooms, study centers, you name it...
hard to get the scale here, but this is a full sized kitchen, scaled down for children. so awesome. 
each ward has a different theme. 
great solution to a load-bearing pillar in a lobby- turned into a mast for a sailboat shaped reception desk, nicknamed the "s.s.hope".
a personal fave of mine, a volunteer with a therapy dog. doggies lift the spirits of anyone, but kids especially, so i'm glad this treatment is included at st. jude
i loved this hospital, and now that i know about it, am a huge booster. you should be too. here's some facts from their website:

How do your donations help?
  • Thanks to donors, no family ever pays St. Jude for anything. Care, housing, transportation, meals—the list of services we provide to our families is unequalled. But it is for one purpose: To ensure the very best outcome possible for every child.
  • At St. Jude, donor dollars help fuel the groundbreaking research that leads to pioneering care and treatments for childhood cancer and other deadly diseases.
How is St. Jude making a difference for sick children?
  • Every child saved at St. Jude means children saved around the world—a direct result of cutting-edge research and treatment that set the standard in treating childhood cancers. And our discoveries are shared freely with doctors and scientists all over the world.
  • St. Jude developed protocols that have helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20 percent, when the hospital opened in 1962, to 80 percent today.
  • St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.
  • St. Jude has embarked on an unprecedented effort to sequence the pediatric cancer genome and to identify the genetic changes that give rise to some of the world's deadliest childhood cancers. Read more.
How are donations used?
  • During the past five years, 81 cents of every dollar received has supported the research and treatment at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
  • It costs $1.8 million a day to operate St. Jude, and public donations provide more than 75 percent of our funding.
Donate now to help St. Jude save the lives of children in communities everywhere.

st. jude = simply amazing.  help if you can!


MJH DesignArts said...

Hi Christian, I wanted to cry when I read this wonderful post. My little grand daughter, Mia, not yet three is being treated at St. Jude's and is enrolled in a proton radiation study sponsored by St. Jude's at the University of Florida. Mia has a non-malignant brain tumor which has made her pituitary non-functional and the goal now is to save her sight. I know that between CHOC here in Orange County and St. Jude's and The University of Florida she is getting the best possible care....prayers are humbly requested.

maison21 said...

sending much love and healing to mia- she really is in the best of hands! xo