An Interview With A St. Jude Mother From Acadiana
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a godsend for the cancer stricken families across the country and South Louisiana is no exception. Few people realize how many families from the Acadiana area have benefited from help from St. Jude. Here is one story of a mother from Acadiana who had her life changed by love from St. Jude.
97.3: How did you learn about St. Jude?
Rebecca Vidrine: I had no clue what St. Jude was about until our doctors in Lafayette sent our son’s information over to St. Jude. I unfortunately remember hearing the radiothons and a lot of times I’d end up changing the station because I’d get so upset.
97.3: How surprised were you to find out that you could go to St. Jude and there would be no cost for your family?
Rebecca Vidrine: I was in shock. I thought there must be some catch. All the treatments are free, they pay for patient travel, housing, and they’d actually give us a $100 gift card for groceries every week. You don’t have to pay for anything.
97.3: How comforting was St. Jude when you got there?
Rebecca Vidrine: It was very scary at first because we knew my son James had a tumor and it was cancerous, but we had no clue what he had. The doctors reassured us that they’d do everything they could for us while we waited on his test results.
97.3: Unfortunately the story doesn’t end successfully for you son, but the fight itself was a success because of what St. Jude has to offer. Now that you look back on St. Jude what do you remember most?
Rebecca Vidrine: People assume St. Jude would be a depressing place, but really it was home for us for 10 months. James went through 10 months of chemotherapy, he had his right kidney removed, he had radiation therapy, and we were actually home for six months with him living a normal life before he relapsed. That was something St. Jude gave us. They told us he wouldn’t live for six months when he was diagnosed and we had a year and a half with him.
Its an amazing place, the doctors are our family. They’ve always stayed in touch with us even after our son passed away. For us, St. Jude was home.
97.3: What would you tell someone who’s never been to St. Jude, or a parent that has a healthy child right now that is thinking about donating?
Rebecca Vidrine: They should donate because you never know when it’s going to be your child, your niece, your nephew, your grandchild. I of course never thought it would happen to us when but it did. When you find out your child is going to die, you want hope. That’s what St. Jude gave us. Hope.
97.3: When I was at St. Jude they informed us how much Acadiana specifically relies on St. Jude more so than any other place in the country. How many people did you meet while you were there that were from where you’re from?
Rebecca Vidrine: About 10 that were in treatment at the same time as us. I’ve met more since then that were in treatment before or after, but just in that 10 month span there were 10 that I knew personally. I know there were other families that we didn’t get a chance to meet, but there were 10 that we knew personally.
Like Rebecca Vidrine, many families from South Louisiana’s lives have been touched by St. Jude. Through the kindness and generosity of others St. Jude is able to help these families in need. Carry on the tradition of giving hope to others by becoming a Partner In Hope today.