Huntsville continues the fight to end childhood cancer with St. Jude walk

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Every day 43 children are diagnosed with cancer. More than 43,000 children undergo cancer treatment each year. And 1 in 5 children diagnosed with cancer will not survive.

Those are just some of the statistics that St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is fighting to change. On Saturday, the fight came to Huntsville with the Walk/Run To End Childhood Cancer.

"Things like St. Jude is pinnacle to those families needing support, that cannot provide that support to themselves.  I think to help others is what we're here to do as people and human beings," explained volunteer Andreas Stevenson.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is the leading hospital for childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. And there's a reason for that. Fundraisers like the walk, and the support from volunteers like Stevenson, give the hospital the freedom to provide.

"No family, I mean absolutely no family, pays for anything when they're receiving services there at St. Jude. It's just a great foundation," said Stevenson.

Brandon Hailes has experienced this care first hand. His youngest son suffers from sickle-cell disease, and is currently a St. Jude patient.

"A lot of times you know, we're there for a full week, never receive a bill. They'll find out he's into the ninja turtles, and next thing you know he's got a ninja turtle doll. You just don't get that kind of care everywhere," he explained.

Hailes said it really takes a community to fight childhood cancer and keep St. Jude going. The support from his own community, the camaraderie and the smiles makes him thankful to be a part of it.

"It's overwhelming and sometimes it brings me to tears to be honest with you. When I really think about it by myself, and the impact that these people are making in so many lives, it's very important," he said.

This year's event raised over $167,000. For more information on how you can get involved in St. Jude, you can visit their website here.