St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital opened on February 4, 1962 and was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas. Its mission is to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Research findings at St. Jude are shared freely with doctors and scientists all over the world. No family ever pays St. Jude for anything.
In its most recent survey, Parents magazine named St. Jude the No. 1 pediatric cancer care hospital in the country, based on the magazine’s survey of more than 75 children’s hospitals nationwide.
St. Jude has 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.
In 1962, the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood cancer, was 4 percent. Today, the survival rate for this once deadly disease is 94 percent, thanks to research and treatment protocols developed at St. Jude.
St. Jude was the first institution to develop a cure for sickle cell disease with a bone marrow transplant and has one of the largest pediatric sickle cell programs in the country.
The daily operating cost for St. Jude is $1.7 million, which is primarily covered by public contributions. During the past five years, 81 cents of every dollar received has supported the research and treatment at St. Jude.
St. Jude recently completed an extensive expansion program that bolstered the hospital’s research and treatment efforts, while more than doubling the size of its original campus. The campus now has 2.5 million square feet of research, clinical and administrative space dedicated to finding cures and saving children.