Yesterday, I, had the privilege of stocking the #KmartCarts at the Penn Station Kmart, in Manhattan. Carts were filled to the brim with tons of special goodies, for the kids at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital this holiday season.
Mid-way through the event, I paused when I noticed that much of what I had placed in the cart was geared towards young girls. My daughter was on my mind and it was reflecting in my gift selections.
I will never ever forget the helplessness that I felt as a parent, when she was 3 years old.
Then one day, it got noticeably worse. We took her to the E.R..
We explained all of the issues that she had been having. After hours of sitting in the emergency room, they sent us home. The doctor remarked, "she doesn't have a fever, so she's most likely OK". I would later find out that the hospital that we visited that night didn't have the equipment or medical staff to scope a toddler. Rather than point us to another, more well equipped hospital, they sent us home.
Had I not had the instinct to take her to another hospital, things could be much different today.
Over the next few weeks, with the help of a Pediatric ENT, we discovered that my daughter had a mass growing on her vocal fold. They removed it swiftly and she's healthy, thriving, and happy today. That doctor has my lifelong gratitude; she is our angel.
As I packed the cart in Kmart yesterday, I was actively thinking of all of the children and their families, who are still on a journey back towards health this holiday season. For many of them, the road is long. They are bravely fighting though and I have so much admiration for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for bravely fighting for, and alongside, all of these precious kids.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospitals mission is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of St. Jude's founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay.
Kmart has been St. Jude's leading corporate partner in the history of St. Jude Hospital. They have raised a remarkable amount of money for St Jude since their partnership began in 2006. Over $72.2 million through in-store and online donations; just amazing!
They are on the path to another great year in donations this year too; having already raised more than $13 million for St. Jude, this holiday season!
As a result of this event, over $10,000 in toys were donated yesterday for families who will spend the holidays this year, at St.Jude Children's Research Hospital. They are currently en route to the hospital in Memphis.
My deepest thanks to Kmart for allowing me the opportunity to participate in yesterday's event, for such an amazing cause. It was an honor.
In 2013, Kmart Shop Your Way members and customers donated a record $21.9 million to St. Jude - the single largest corporate partner donation ever to the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign.
Kmart has raised more than $72.2 million for St. Jude through in-store and online donations. St. Jude recognized Kmart, a partner since 2006, as its Corporate Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011 and 2013, and last year honored Kmart with the "Extraordinary Partner Performance Award," recognizing its record-breaking fundraising achievement.
Funds raised support research and treatment by St. Jude to end childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases
Kmart.com/StJude or stjude.org