After MUCH anticipation, it was finally time for the St. Jude Radio Training Seminar.
D, M, and I all headed to Tampa, to catch a plane to Memphis. It was an uneventful flight.... as soon as we stepped off the plane, we felt a major chill, lol. We were immediately met by some ALSAC representatives who told us a warm bus was waiting for us, as soon as we got our luggage.
The blessed thing was when our luggage was all there on the belt, waiting in a line for us, lol. It was such a great thing that I had to take a picture.....
After we registered at the convention site, we headed over to our hotel to check in and get settled. We were scheduled for the Early Bird Tour, so we headed back to the convention site to board a bus to the hospital.
I wish I could convey how amazing St. Jude is. EVERY detail has been thought of.....
Translation Phones - they have phones with two headsets. The doctor picks up one, the parent picks up the other. They press a button and within minutes, a translator is on the phone. That way the two can communicate face-to-face. Our tourguide said that there is a patient from a small country in Africa and they were able to communicate with the parents through the phone.
Patient Rooms - most of their patients are out-patient. However, when a patient needs hospital care, they obviously have the beds for it. Each room is a suite with a parent room and a child's room. Every child has a Wii. The parents have internet and a bed. The new Chili's Care Center has trash shoots, so that the trash can be picked up in the hall and the child isn't disturbed. These are just a few examples.
School - they have tutors on-site. The teachers get the work from the child's home school, so that they stay on-track. They have a Kindergarten graduation and a Senior Prom.
Child-Life Specialists - these great people make sure that the children understand what is happening to them. They also work with the siblings of the patients.
Kay Kafe - this BEAUTIFUL cafeteria has multiple areas. The children are often picky as they are going through Chemo. All the options allow them to hopefully find something they can stomach... make your own pizzas, ice creams, International foods, salads, soups, and sandwiches. Doctors, nurses, ALSAC, researchers, patients... everyone eats in there.
EVERYTHING is paid for.... housing, transportation, meals/groceries, treatment.
I could go on and on. We weren't allowed to take pictures when any patients were around, but I was able to get a few shots.....
Bust of Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital
When Danny Thomas died, editorial cartoonists from around the world honored him. Today, there's a wall dedicated to those drawings.....
The 'ABC's of Cancer' Wall.....
A Partner-In-Hope is someone who donates at least $20 a month to St. Jude... please consider becoming a PIH!!
The only thing I wasn't pleased with.... we didn't get enough time in the gift shop!!! I was able to get a few things, but I didn't spend nearly what I had alloted, lol!
After the tour, it was time for the Welcome Reception. Then, we were off to dinner at Rum Boogie. Each region goes to a different place on Beale Street. Talk about yummy food (and, the Hurricane wasn't so bad, either)!!
We had a great time hanging with other stations, but we were grandmas and called it a early night! We'd been going since before the crack of dawn, so it was time to hit the hay and get ready for Day Two!!