We took up a blog reader’s “weird” offer and came away blessed.
This happens less often than you might think. And less often than we’d prefer.
Offers of visits, meals and tours from blog readers are hard to coordinate. We’re a moving target with an uncertain and oft-changing schedule. Other folks have their own lives filled with work, school, family and volunteer commitments.
But once in a while things all connect.
I know a tour of a hospital sounds weird…but after working here for 7 years I’m still amazed (and its steeped in rich history).Blog Reader Amber
So ran a comment in an early post on our plans to follow the Mississippi River from top to bottom.
Travelers Not Tourists
I have a hard time saying this without sounding snobby - but we are travelers not tourists.
Yes, we do (at times) take in the tourist attractions. Even here in Memphis we have watched the ducks and had BBQ & Blues on Beale Street.
But we also love getting views into other worlds that are new to us. We’ve spent time on a Texas ranch, helped at a book-launch party for authors we had just met, and had Sunday dinner with Reality TV Show stars for a show we had never seen.
So no, a hospital tour actually didn’t sound weird at all.
I had a basic awareness of St. Jude - mainly from seeing various fund-raising efforts over the years.
I had assumed it was a Catholic organization and didn’t know much past that. I guess that’s a good thing when it comes to hospitals?
Anyway - upon getting to Memphis we saw that there was a Danny Thomas Place and a Danny Thomas Pavilion so it was a bit of a revelation that the entire effort was started by Danny Thomas in the early 1960’s.
It’s not a Catholic Organization at all, but rather named after a Saint that Danny Thomas prayed to while a young man and in dire financial straights. Read more about the History of St. Jude.
A Small City
The Hospital serves all faiths and has grown to become mostly a city unto itself. In addition to the expected medical facilities the Hospital also has on-site:
- Drug Manufacturing
All of this is geared around fulfilling its core mission of providing treatment and research of catastrophic children’s diseases at no cost to the patients or families.