Michelle Obama visits St. Jude - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Michelle Obama visits St. Jude

(WMC) - The first lady of the United States made an historic visit to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital on Wednesday. 

Michelle Obama met with St. Jude patients and their families, and she held a questions-and-answers session filled with curiosity and smiles.

When asked why she wanted to visit the hospital, she said, "You can tell the world better than anyone how important this institution is to so many kids and families."

Other less serious questions were asked.

Leukemia patient Tyler West: "When you first got your dogs were they puppies?"

Michelle Obama: "Well, Bo was -- he was five months, so he was an older puppy. And Sunny was already like 12 months. So they weren't itty-bitty puppies."

Tyler: "But they were little?"

Michelle Obama: "They were sort of little, yes. Do you have a pet, Tyler?"

Tyler "Yes."

Michelle Obama: "What do you have?"

Tyler: "A chocolate lab."

Read the full Q&A here. The First Lady's visit left a great impression with not just kids, but their parents.

"She is so genuine, heartfelt and warm with the children and with the parents as well. It was just amazing," Michelle West said. Her son, Tyler, has been featured on WMC Action News 5 before here.

"The idea that she came, and that gave more exposure to St. Jude. We of course think St. Jude is the most amazing hospital in the world, and the First Lady being here was just a huge success for us," West said.

The First Lady also heard stories from families like the Vickie and Chelsea Clark. Vickie and her 13-year-old daughter came to St. Jude after Chelsea was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2012 and relapsed this summer.

"When we came to St. Jude, it just felt, you know, you were safe. You were going to be OK," said Chelsea.

"What they have to face is such an adult situation. It should not be a child situation. But they learn to cope better, I think, than some adults do," Vickie said. "She [Chelsea] doesn't let cancer define who she is. Cancer is just a part of her story and she moves on."

The first lady also took selfies with several kids. See pictures of her visit here.

Her visit was not open to the public.

The Memphis police motorcycle unit stood guard most of Wednesday at Signature Flight Support near the Memphis International Airport for extra security. The first lady's trip was been delayed by one and a half hours Wednesday due to a maintenance issue on plane.

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