A Message from Lara About St. Jude

I would love to take credit for my daughter’s genius brain and her passion for medicine and helping others.  But that would go against my philosophy of only writing mostly true stories on this blog.  I can say that she has inherited her charitable attitude from Christine and myself.

Right now she is the Executive Director of LSU’s St. Jude Up ’til Dawn fundraising organization.  Here is a little bit about it from Lara herself:

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is not just a hospital for most families, it is their home. As the Executive Director of LSU’s St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn, I have been honored with being able to visit this remarkable hospital on 4 different occasions in the past 3 years. Each time I step foot into the hospital I am blown away with its warm and loving atmosphere, and my experience a few weeks ago at the St. Jude Leadership Seminar was no exception.

My love for St. Jude began as a child, when my parents (Timbeaux & Christine) began doing marathons and triathlons to raise money for the children of St. Jude.  Seeing my parents devote their time to raise money for such a great organization struck something in me to want to experience this devotion they had. Therefore, when I got to LSU and heard of an amazing organization called St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn, which raised money for St. Jude, I knew that it was for me!

During my last visit to St. Jude, I listened to a young girl who is my age tell her story of her battle with cancer. She recalled how it all started with what she thought was a cheerleading injury and how her trip to the doctor was one she would never forget. As a 12 year old girl, she was sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with a diagnosis of osteosarcoma and told that they would have to take her bone out of her leg and replace it with a titanium rod. She was then told that if the procedure did not go as expected that she would need to have the leg amputated.

Luckily, amputation was not necessary because of the amazing doctors at St. Jude. However, she recalled a moment when she woke up in the ICU and saw the flashing of the machines and heard the sirens going off in her room. Soon doctors were over her and her mother was screaming at her telling her to breathe. She realized that she was not breathing and would have to fight for her life if she wanted to continue to live. As a 21 year old, imagining myself as a 12 year old in her position all I could do is look at her (through my sobbing) with amazement at how put together and strong she is after going through something that terrifying .

However, her story unfortunately did not end there, so neither did my tears. She continued to talk about how her best friends were other patients she met at St. Jude and how the St. Jude staff would schedule their chemotherapy, physical therapy, and clinic appointments at the same time so they could see each other. She recalled many amazing and hilarious memories with these friends but also explained that when her best friend passed away from cancer it was a wakeup call to what she had been through and how it does not always end as wanted.

After speaking with us, I then felt challenged. I felt that what she had just told us was a challenge to further raising money for this cause so that childhood cancer can be 99% curable in ALL forms! To raise money for the cancers that have lower survival rates so that all children can experience their kindergarten and high school graduations, first home run , receive flowers after performing  at a dance recital, get married, and live the lives they have always dreamed of!

The experiences I have had meeting the patients, staff, and supporters of St. Jude is enough to change my outlook of St. Jude for a lifetime. St. Jude will always have a place in my heart and I hope that it is something that you would like to experience too. If you would like to open your hearts to this amazing cause please donate to my page or feel free to email me if your business would like to be a sponsor for our event in the spring!

Thank you!

Lara Hutchinson / Timbeaux’s favorite daughter

Lhutch8@lsu.edu

If you have the means and the desire, please donate to St. Jude through her website.  Thank you.

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