Can You Really Love a Hospital? »

I snapped this photo at St. Jude just yesterday:

Everything is okay; our son had some routine bloodwork. It was actually the first time I’ve been on St. Jude’s campus in several months. That artwork is made by patients, and is featured in a gallery that rotates every year or so.

I really love these pieces, because they capture something you see and hear a lot around this place:

I love St. Jude.

On the surface, that is a little crazy. No one ends up at St. Jude with good news initially. It’s a place for the downtrodden and hopeless cases, hence the name.

And that’s why people love it.

When your child is diagnosed with cancer or another catastrophic disease, your whole world implodes. It takes year and years to dig out of it, but at St. Jude, that is okay. Everyone you pass in the hall is in the same fight. We’ve all taken punches, but the currency at St. Jude is hope. Everything is about the future, about a world where kids don’t die of things like brain tumors. That hope keeps families moving forward, giving them a reason to take on the next MRI or next round of chemo or next surgery. Always forward, never back.

When you’re in that sort of world for a while, it changes how you see things. A hospital becomes a home, and not because of the hours spent there, but what it means to spend hours there. Nurses become friends; doctors become trusted advisors. Fear turns to hope; sorrow into celebration. St. Jude is more than a building and a staff; it’s a family.

That’s why people love it. That’s why we do.

As I write this on Monday night, we have more than doubled our fundraising goal for this year.

Thank you. You’re helping bring a lot of of love to families who need it the most.