Running from March 26th to March 30th, Hoops For St. Jude Week is a fundraising campaign with the aim to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. NBA stars likes Paul Gasol, Dwight Howard, Rudy Gay, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Love, and David Lee are lending their support to the campaign. The players are increasing awareness and speaking out for St. Jude’s cause, as well as meeting with sick kids and giving them a chance to meet their heroes.
“With my interest and background in the medical field, I can really appreciate the incredible research and treatment being done at St. Jude,” Pau Gasol said. “I love that St. Jude is not just a hospital in Memphis, but an international research center that is saving the lives of kids around the world.”
It’s this research that much of the funds raised are intended to help. St. Jude continues to research into cancer treatment and other diseases that can afflict children. In fact, much of Hoops For St. Jude Week’s press has centered on the surprising success story of 14 year-old OKC fan Isaac. Using groundbreaking techniques, St. Jude Children’s Hospital helped Isaac fight a brain tumour by undergoing a harrowing battery of radiation treatments, stem cell implants, and several surgeries that left him alive and back home. Stories like Isaac’s highlight the need for donations, as more than 75% of St. Jude’s funding comes from the public.
“I believe in giving back and helping children,” Dwight Howard said. “Hoops for St. Jude does both. NBA players are tough, but children fighting cancer are tougher.”
In support of the campaign, Isaac’s family has raised $5000, and are now aiming for $10000. People can still support the campaign effort by seeing the Hoops For St. Jude games in your area, bidding on NBA memorabilia, or donating. The auction includes Lakers Nike sneakers signed by Pau Gasol, autographed Russell Westbrook Nikes, autographed Paul Pierce jerseys, and several Dwyane Wade autographed jerseys.
As for Wade himself, he said, “I was honored to meet some young patients who are winning the fight against cancer and sickle cell disease. Joining Hoops for St. Jude presented another chance for me to support the hospital by combining my love for basketball with an opportunity to give hope to children with cancer and other deadly diseases.”
Rudy Gay also got a chance to meet with young patients. “Being a Hoops ambassador makes me feel good knowing that I help these kids forget about what they’re going through just for a little bit,” he said. “I know I’m helping fight childhood cancer and feel like I’m part of the reason these kids are making these turnarounds.”
NBA Cares has really outdone themselves with this latest effort, and the Hoops For St. Jude Week will continue to help St. Jude Children’s Hospital save children’s lives.