I arrived in Tennessee today, but spent most of the day waiting in airports, flying, or driving the 3 1/2 hours between Memphis and Nashville.
The highlight of my day was visiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. I was greeted at the door by four members of the Fund Raising Department. They were all very grateful to have a Math-a-thon Coordinator come for a tour of the campus.
I was extremely impressed by the entire facility. I didn't realize how large the campus was and how much was housed internally - they have short, intermediate, and long term housing, dental and vision care for patients, their own blood bank, their own pharmacy, two research buildings, amazing play rooms, counseling programs, a chapel with three different religious services, an amazing "cafeteria" with everything you could ask for to eat - including an ice cream shop and a Starbucks! And that's just a short list of the things I saw while I was there.
One of the things that touched me the most was the volume and quality of artwork they have displayed throughout the facility that was created by patients. I will try to share more photos over the next few days (but I have to get to sleep soon so I will be ready to go to Leadership Conference at 7:30 in the morning - it's 11:49 now).
I think this was my favorite piece of artwork. The patients wrote about the bad parts of their illnesses on the white side and the good parts on the black side. I cried as I read some of the things they wrote.
Here is a close-up of part of the white side:
This is Alexis, my personal tour guide! She was so incredibly thorough in her tour and her explanation of the different departments and parts of the hospital. She also made me feel very welcome and proud to be a part of the fund raising efforts for this special place.
I saw this bus at the airport picking up a patient. Alexis says that they provide airfare, transportation, housing, ect. for families that need it.
I've always felt a huge deal of pride, but now feel so much more pride in West Ward's fund raising efforts for the children at St. Jude after my visit.
You can learn more and also learn how you can help the children at St. Jude by visiting their website - www.stjude.org