Up ‘Til Dawn raises awareness

By Liz Lavin
September 27, 2007

Garrison Coats is an active two-year old who loves playing with his dog and his cousins. So what makes Garrison different from any other little boy who loves to run around and play outside?

Coats has Ewing sarcoma, the second most common type of bone cancer in children.

In July 2006, Garrison came down with what was thought to be pneumonia. Doctors then found a large tumor in his chest, a tumor large enough to collapse his left lung and shift his heart to the right, according to stjude.org.

Coats is St. Jude’s Patient of the Month, and he is just one of almost 5,000 patients that St. Jude’s Research Hospital treats every year.

College organizations such as Up ’til Dawn are committed to raising money for St. Jude’s Research Hospital. UTD is a student-led, student-run organization that fundraises for the hospital. Organizations like UTD have helped St. Jude’s become the largest research hospital in the world. Since 1970, the survival rate of St. Jude’s patients has jumped to about 70 percent.

On Friday, Sept. 28 a DVD will play in Jazzmans from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. that introduces patients of St. Jude’s and their families. For only a five-dollar registration fee, people can participate in UTD’s 5K walk on Saturday, Sept. 29. All of the money raised by UTD goes directly to the hospital.

St. Jude’s Research Hospital was founded by entertainer Danny Thomas and is located in Memphis, Tennessee. Thomas founded the hospital after praying to St. Jude Thaddeus, saint of impossible causes. He vowed that if St. Jude answered his prayers, he would build a shrine for the saint.

Thomas’ prayers were answered, and the shrine was built.

St. Jude’s is a place “where no one pays for treatment beyond what is covered by insurance, and those without insurance are never asked to pay,” and “all patients accepted for treatment at St. Jude are treated without regard to the family’s ability to pay,” according to stjude.org.

The hospital costs about one million dollars a day to run and runs strictly on donations.

Here at Cabrini, UTD just kicked off its Awareness Week. Some events that took place were Chili’s night and “Lick Away Cancer” with free lollipops. Information will be posted around campus for future UTD events.

Liz Lavin

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