Donations pour into St. Jude Children’s Hospital on Giving Tuesday ahead of marathon weekend

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As a followup to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday allows people to give back to their community.

One way to do this is by donating to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which will be holding its annual marathon this weekend.

“On Giving Tuesday, if we don’t do it most other days, today is the day to give and just go,” said Sandra Lopez, a St. Jude marathon runner.

Thousands of people from across the country and beyond will participate in St. Jude’s largest event to make sure families never receive a medical bill from the hospital for travel, housing and food.

Sandra Lopez is one of them.

“At that moment when St. Jude’s covers those costs, that’s the moment where parents don’t have to worry about that. They can focus solely on helping their child get better,” Lopez said.

Lopez is from Cali, Colombia.

For 16 years, she made it her mission to help save children’s lives at St. Jude, including Caleb Waddell, who was diagnosed with MPS Hurler syndrome at 13 months.

It’s a rare disease where the body does not have enough of an enzyme to break down sugar molecules.

“Even though he had a very short life expectancy after being born, he’s going to be 22,” Lopez said. “Caleb is no longer receiving treatment at St. Jude. However, his family continues to fundraise for St. Jude and supporting the cause. Thanks to his parents, he is still with us today.”

The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranks Memphis as the most charitable city in the U.S.

As part of Giving Tuesday, St. Jude heroes like Lopez and others hope to raise enough money to put an end to childhood cancer and other deadly diseases.

“The hope of them having a better life, cancer free is what motivates me,” said Sydney Buchanan, a former St. Jude marathon runner.

To donate to Lopez, visit here.

If you can’t donate on Giving Tuesday, there are still other ways you can raise money for the children at St. Jude’s.