According to ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened in 1962.
Because of the generosity of donors, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food because St. Jude wants patient families to focus on getting their child well.
To support its pioneering research and lifesaving treatment, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital hosts events like the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend
, which is the single largest fundraiser of the year and the only marathon organized by a charity for the sole purpose to fundraise.
Participants who register and train as St. Jude Heroes are running for a purpose: They are raising awareness and funding for St. Jude families.
Benefits of the St. Jude Memphis Marathon® Weekend are far-reaching for attendees. It is a Boston Marathon qualifier but there are many ways to get involved, even if you are not a marathoner. The races include a marathon, half-marathon, 5K, a marathon relay, the Kids marathon and Family Fun Run. All routes except the Kids’ Marathon go through the St. Jude campus, where patients, their families and St. Jude staff cheer participants on.
Race day is this Saturday, Dec. 5. Following the races in the morning, there will be an evening concert performed by the Avett Brothers at The Cannon Center for the Performing Arts.
This year’s race saw a change in the routes, which will highlight the culture of Memphis, and marathon participants will run through historic Victorian Village, past the National Civil Rights Museum and through revitalized Overton Square.
Support from other local organizations and corporations is vital to the event’s success. These groups include sponsors such as Juice Plus+, Landers Ford, YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South and official training partner Breakaway Running.
St. Jude tries to do everything it can to give back to the city it calls home. In fact, race weekend has an estimated economic impact of $20 million on the Memphis economy. The Friday before race day, St. Jude will host the largest annual dinner event in the city for 3,500 St. Jude Heroes at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.
The success of St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend precedes the start of the New Year, when St. Jude is offering new ways for supporters to make their 2016 New Year’s resolutions matter for the kids of St. Jude. Building upon the momentum from marathon weekend, St. Jude supporters are encouraged to pursue additional fitness activities in the New Year to help raise awareness for St. Jude, such as CrossFit, yoga, Red Frog Events Mud Runs, martial arts, everyday workouts and more. Each person can tailor his or her campaign to their personal interests, making it a great way to fundraise, get healthier and spread the word about the life changing work of St. Jude – all while starting their training for next year’s St. Jude Memphis Marathon!
To support St. Jude and find the right program for you, visit stjude.org
or check out community-wide volunteer opportunities on Volunteer Memphis