Meet Hadley of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
When Hadley started getting sick a lot, her parents chalked it up to having started daycare. Then, her doctor did some bloodwork, and within fifteen minutes, they were told they were going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Hadley had acute myeloid leukemia.
“As a 2 year old, your child should have problems that you can still fix. You should be putting Band-Aids on scraped knees and kissing boo-boos and wiping tears over silly things, not cancer.”
Although it was terrifying, St. Jude was a nearly immediate comfort to the family. “You kind of start feeling at home right off the bat because everybody’s so friendly,” said Hadley’s Dad. “You’d think it would be a bunch of sad people and just a terrible place to be, but that’s not what it’s like here. Everybody’s upbeat, positive, smiling.” “These halls are filled with more hope than I could ever describe,” said her Mom.
Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90%.
Hadley was placed on chemotherapy, and turned three years old during treatment. She’s a chatty tot and “a little firecracker,” according to her Dad.
Her Mom added, “I can’t tell you how many times she’s caught me crying and told me, ‘Mom, don’t worry, it’s going to be okay.’ She has zero fear, and part of that is her age, but part of that’s just Hadley. She’s fearless, she’s happy all the time, she thrives on making people laugh, she loves music and animals, and colors, and singing and dancing, and she’s just a really fun kid.”
Since the partnership began with the USAPA three years ago, a little over $60,000 has been raised through various events and other fundraising activities. The entire pickleball community takes a great deal of pride in knowing that every little bit helps in the fight against childhood cancers.
Help continue to give kids like Hadley a future. Dedicate your next event or tournament to the patients of St. Jude: 1.800.457.2444 or firstname.lastname@example.org