Granite Staters active in St. Jude’s Fitness for a Cure fundraiser
Staff Report | March 18. 2014 5:48PM
She put together a team of fitness professionals and dance performers, believing those strong in mind and body should give back to the sick and less fortunate. Since then, Fitness for a Cure has raised more than $2.4 million for the kids of St. Jude.
Thibodeau became involved in the fundraiser when the 8-year-old son of a close friend was diagnosed with Stage 3 kidney cancer. He is alive today, Thibodeau said, because of St. Jude’s.
“Nothing wrong with setting a high expectation” even if you fall short, he said.
The evening gala that draws 700 people is sold out, but tickets are still available for the family portion of the event, which starts at 11:30 a.m. at Lowell Memorial Auditorium, and features the St. Jude Performance Team. The team consists of 15 adults and 100 kids, 15 of them from New Hampshire, including Thibodeau’s two children.
Doors open at 11 a.m. for the show, which begins at 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 for adults and $15 for children
Thibodeau said when St. Jude’s opened in 1962, the cure rate for childhood leukemia was less than 20 percent. Today, thanks to the hospital’s research, it is 80 percent, he said.
“These kids get it,” he said. “They give up their time to raise money for others.”
The hospital was Danny Thomas’ dream. According to the Fitness for a Cure website, Thomas’ prayer to St. Jude Thaddeus was, “Show me my way in life and I will build you a shrine.”
As he became successful, he decided that shrine would be a research facility and a place of compassion that would treat children regardless of race, color, creed or their family’s ability to pay.
“It took a rabble-rousing, hook-nosed comedian to get your attention, but it took your hearts and your loving minds and your generous souls to make this fabulous dream come true... . If I were to die this minute, I would know why I was born,” Thomas said at the opening.
Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food because the non-profit group believes all a family should worry about is helping their child live.