TOLEDO, Ohio — On Feb. 4, 1962, Danny Thomas unveiled a statue of St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes, when he accomplished what many had told him was a lost cause -- creating a hospital that would fight for a cure to childhood cancer.
Thomas, the Toledo native who went on to success as an actor and singer, dared to dream of a hospital where parents would never receive a bill for their children's cancer treatment and where research would help save more young lives.
The fruition of that dream was St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, in Memphis, which today celebrates its 60th anniversary.
When the hospital opened, the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer, was just 4%. Today, that survival rate is 94%, thanks in part to the work of St. Jude. Treatments developed at the hospital have improved care and improved survival rates for a variety of cancers.
Each year, WTOL's St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway helps make the hospital's mission possible. In 2021, the generosity of Toledoans who participated in the project raised a record-breaking $1.6 million dollars for the children's hospital.