MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - St. Jude’s mission is to beat cancer and save lives!
Founder Danny Thomas said, “No child should die in the dawn of life.”
Sadly, every kid doesn’t cross the finish line.
It was March of 2006 when a spunky little girl was headed out of town for spring break with her family to celebrate her 8th birthday.
But Carson’s mom Paula says, those plans changed drastically.
“She was having some knee pain and we decided to take her to the orthopedic doctor,” Paula said. “The orthopedic doctor said I took some Xrays, I’ll call you if I see anything.”
Paula soon got the call that Carson had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma.
“That Monday morning we walked through the doors of St Jude for the very first time and I will never forget when the doctor said you’re at St Jude now and there’s hope for Carson and we’re going to do everything we can to fight this,” she said.
That started 16 months of her journey there at St Jude and never once did St Jude ever give up.
Carson was a fighter and she never gave up either.
But on June 26, 2015, Carson’s journey ended.
“She knew she was going to heaven, and she hadn’t talked many days before that, but right before she took her last breath, she told me she wanted me to get her shoes, her sparkly shoes,” Paula told WMC Action News 5.
Paula said her tears now are happy tears because her countless memories of Carson bring her joy.
“She would always ask people at the hospital if they had any change in their pocket and she’d put all those coins in her piggy bank,” she said. “But she would never say, she would just put that money in there. We had kinda decided that she was worried because I wasn’t working anymore. But we found out, about two weeks before she passed away what she was really thinking about. She asked her daddy and me to bring her the piggy bank and she said mommy and daddy I want you to make sure when I’m gone because you know, don’t you, that I’m getting ready to go have tea parties with Jesus, and I said yes sweetheart I know, and she said please make sure that the money in the piggy bank goes back to the kids at St Jude because I want my money to find a cure.”
Carson’s family kept that promise.
“Our family sat around our kitchen table after she passed away and we counted all those coins that she had been collecting for 16 months. It was 186 dollars and 42 cents and we gave that to St Jude,” said Paula.
That was the start of coins for Carson.
Every year, students at her school put their pennies together into piggy banks made from Kleenex boxes.
Over the past six years, they’ve raised more than $10,000!
Every penny has been helping beat childhood cancer.
St Jude has gotten it to an 80 percent survival rate but it’s not huge when your daughter is the other 1 in 5.
‘We’re still raising for St. Jude because the kids matter and so we’re gonna keep pushing just like Carson would have kept pushing as she just drives us forward,” said Paula