LC students have raised more money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital than any other college or university in the mid-Atlantic region, which includes Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Up ’til Dawn, the collegiate fundraiser for St. Jude, was held at LC for the first time on November 1.
“The Lynchburg total so far is $18,500, which is phenomenal for a first-time school,” said April Warren Mann, marketing representative for St. Jude. “We couldn’t be more proud of the students’ hard work to raise money and awareness for the children of St. Jude.”
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is the only pediatric cancer treatment facility that never charges their patients’ families for care. Up ’til Dawn is a letter campaign in which students bring 25-50 addresses of friends and families to ask them to support St. Jude.
Natanis DeMascio ’13 learned about Up ’til Dawn at an all-Greek conference two years ago and wanted to get it started at LC. When she was 11, she had a 7-year-old cousin who developed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and while he didn’t go to St. Jude, research there greatly improved his survival rate. In 1964, the survival rate was just 4 percent, she said, but is now at 94 percent. “My mom always instilled in me that it was the best charity,” Natanis said.
Natanis got an executive board of Greek students created for Up ’til Dawn and was then invited to the St. Jude Collegiate Leadership Seminar in Memphis, Tenn., during the summer. She and Brooke Niblett ’15 were LC’s representatives. They took a tour of the hospital, met patients, heard speakers, and learned about the history of Danny Thomas, the founder of St. Jude.
“Actually going to the hospital was really awesome,” Brooke said, adding that she had always watched the St. Jude infomercials as a child.