16 April 2013

Before we get started on Chooseday Tuesday, the Lutheran Church Charities K9 Comfort dogs are headed to Boston. I first wrote about these 4-legged angels on Jan. 3 when they greeted the returning students to Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown. 

Five specially trained golden retrievers, including Ruthie and Luther, below, have packed their bags (and I hope loaded up their teddy bears) for the trip. Three are coming from the Addison, Ill.-homebase and two others from Newtown where they’ve been stationed since Jan. 3. They will be based in a Lutheran church very close to the Boston Marathon finish site and will visit the injured in the hospital.

Another marathon figures into today’s donation. I’d already planned to give today’s $10 in my friend Rosemary’s name. She’s running her first half marathon April 27 in Nashville in  the St. Jude Country Music Marathon.  

St.Jude Children’s Research Hospital treats children with cancer and other catastrophic illnesses. Since Danny Thomas started the hospital in 1962, it has helped around 7,800 patients a year, none of whom pay for treatment. Its research has led to tremendously increased survival rates: in 1962, the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common kind of childhood cancer, according to St. Jude’s website, was 4%. It is now 94%. 

All this doesn’t come cheap. The daily operating cost for St. Jude is $1.8 million. 

The country music community has adopted St. Jude as one of its prime charities and raises millions of dollars for it every year. 

I ran a half-marathon for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society in 2007 and it remains one of the highlights of my life. For someone who wasn’t athletic growing up, realizing that my body could run/walk 13.1 miles for a good cause was life changing. I hope Rosemary has a great experience, too.

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