Happy Birthday Danny Thomas – Founder of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Today marks the 102nd birthday of Danny Thomas, the man responsible for planting the seed that is changing the way the world looks at childhood cancer.
Danny Thomas was born Amos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz on January 6, 1912 and spent many years as a radio and stage actor before gravitating to television and movies.
The way the story goes, as a "starving actor", Thomas made a vow one night in prayer: If he found success, he would open a shrine dedicated to Saint Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes.
Years later, Thomas made on good his promise and it's still growing today.
We can talk about the awards and accolades he won while starring in the hit television sitcoms 'Make Room for Danny' and 'The Danny Thomas Show.' We can talk about the movies and hundreds of television appearances but at his core was his love for making sure the idea of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital became a reality. He said, "no child should die in the dawn of life."
Since St. Jude opened its doors in 1962, the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer, has increased from 4% to 94% today.The overall survival rate for childhood cancers has also risen from 20% to 80%.
Because of one man's vision and a promise this hospital continues its life saving work today.
Danny Thomas' contributions to this world are undeniable. His memory and heart are alive and well in not only each piece of video we watch but in the eyes of each patient and family member that has ever been touched by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Happy Birthday Danny!