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Dedicated fundraiser Sue Kessler, receives St. Jude Hero Among Us award during 18th annual St. Jude Memphis Marathon

To help kick off the 18th annual St. Jude Memphis Marathon® Weekend, Sue Kessler was recognized as the recipient of this year's St. Jude Hero Among Us award.

St. Jude Heroes are a nationwide alliance of supporters who help raise funds and awareness for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® through fitness events. Since the award was established in 2013, it has been presented annually during the event weekend to a special St. Jude Hero for going the extra mile to support children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Kessler is no stranger to running or supporting St. Jude. The end of 2019 will signify Kessler running at least one mile every day for the last 20 years, as well as her 100th marathon upon completion of this year's St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend.

She began running as a St. Jude Hero in 2016 and has since raised more than $73,000 for the kids of St. Jude. Kessler's energy and passion for the mission led to further involvement as an ambassador, in which she volunteers her time to help raise awareness for the hospital, recruit new St. Jude Heroes, encourage her fellow fundraisers and more.

After sharing her fitness journey and St. Jude story during an event weekend press conference, ALSAC President and CEO Richard Shadyac Jr. surprised her with the recognition of this year's St. Jude Hero Among Us award. 

"Sue embodies the true spirit of what it means to be a St. Jude Hero Among Us, taking her incredible passion for running and intentionally finding greater purpose by choosing to run, fundraise and be a champion for the patients of St. Jude for years," said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "She is an inspiration – not only to those of us in awe of her athletic capability – but also to the kids of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital who are in the fight of their lives."

Kessler shared that she picks up a pebble at the finish line of each marathon. With this in mind, Shadyac also presented her with a pyramid – representing the great city of Memphis – made of 100 pebbles from along the marathon course.

Since its inception in 2002, St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend has been Memphis' premier marathon. 

(12/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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St Jude Memphis Marathon

St Jude Memphis Marathon

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is more than just a race. It's an action-packed weekend of fun, food and entertainment! Start and finish lines two blocks apart and near a dozen Downtown hotels, lots of restaurants, and Beale Street, the Memphis entertainment district. Dynamic finish in AAA baseball stadium, with use of locker rooms and shower facilities. Wave start,...

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Ashley McTyre is a Cancer survivor, who emphasizes the importance of the St. Jude mission ahead of marathon weekend

In less than two weeks, thousands of runners will hit the streets for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend. The money raised goes to support children and families who turn to the hospital for help fighting catastrophic childhood diseases.

"I wouldn't be here without St. Jude. They saved my life," said Ashley McTyre.

McTyre was just 10 years old when her life turned upside down in 2002.

"It's terrifying to sit in a room with your family and to be told that you have cancer," said McTyre.

The diagnosis was Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

McTyre underwent chemotherapy, surgery and rehab. All done with the help of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. McTyre says the doctors and nursing staff at St. Jude made all the difference for her.

"I was here for holidays, sometimes and I was here for birthdays. They made little every day moments, big moments and it was in those moments that I knew that I wanted to be able to make that kind of difference in a patient's life one day," said McTyre.

McTyre is making a difference. She still walks the halls of St. Jude today. Now as a nurse. She joined the St. Jude team five and a half years ago.

"Having made the intentional decision to give back to this mission, it speaks volumes about her character," said ALSAC President and CEO Richard Shadyac Jr.

This upcoming St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, McTyre along with St. Jude staff want to remind people why raising money for this cause is so important.

"Because of events like this no family will ever receive a bill from St. Jude. Not for the cost of treatment, travel, housing or food," said Shadyac.

Organizers say more than 25,000 participants are expected. They're hoping to raise $12 million.

"The fact that I'm able to walk these halls and take care of patients is because of the care that I received and I'm forever grateful for this hospital and all that they're able to do," said McTyre.

The 2019 St. Jude Memphis Marathon is set for Saturday, Dec. 7. There are still spaces available for the full marathon and the kids marathon.

(11/29/2019) ⚡AMP
by Allie Herrera
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St Jude Memphis Marathon

St Jude Memphis Marathon

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is more than just a race. It's an action-packed weekend of fun, food and entertainment! Start and finish lines two blocks apart and near a dozen Downtown hotels, lots of restaurants, and Beale Street, the Memphis entertainment district. Dynamic finish in AAA baseball stadium, with use of locker rooms and shower facilities. Wave start,...

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St. Jude Heroes celebrate 20 years of raising funds and awareness for St. Jude Children´s Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® proudly celebrates the 20th anniversary of the St. Jude Heroes® program, a nationwide alliance of supporters who help raise funds and awareness for the hospital through fitness events.

The St. Jude Heroes program began in fall of 1999 with a group of dedicated fundraisers at the Marine Corps Marathon. In just two decades, 280,000 have participated as St. Jude Heroes in thousands of events across the country and the world. These individuals, coming from all 50 states, have raised more than $140 million to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children.®

Since its inception, the St. Jude Heroes program has grown to be one of the top 30 U.S. peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, according to an annual survey by the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum. Thanks to the dedication and funds raised by St. Jude Heroes and generous donors, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

"I'm astounded by everything our St. Jude Heroes have accomplished – from the program's inception in 1999, to being named one of the top fundraising peer-inspired campaigns in our country just two decades later," said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Although we have come so far since St. Jude opened more than 50 years ago our work is far from over, and I know our St. Jude Heroes won't stop until the dreams of every child worldwide become reality."

One such St. Jude Hero is Sue Kessler. Although she has been a runner most of her life, Kessler was reluctant to talk about her running until she became a St. Jude Hero and realized the impact she could make by doing something bigger than herself. In just seven marathons as a St. Jude Hero, Kessler has raised more than $63,000 for the kids of St. Jude. This December, she will run her 100th marathon in the 18th annual St. Jude Memphis Marathon® Weekend, where she plans to raise an additional $10,000.

"For me, it's not about how fast you can run, it's about using your talents to make a difference in the lives of children everywhere," said Kessler. "St. Jude is doing everything in its power to increase the odds for kids in their toughest times, and I'm proud to do what I can to help."

St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. St. Jude freely shares its groundbreaking discoveries, so that every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists can use that knowledge to save thousands more around the world.

While the St. Jude Heroes program began with a focus on running, it has since expanded to include biking, indoor cycling, swimming and more. Today, St. Jude Heroes of all backgrounds can find a fundraising event to match their athletic abilities and interests, with events ranging from spinning, 10Ks, triathlons, some of the world's most prestigious races and more.

Participating as a St. Jude Hero means receiving access to online training programs, race-day extras – from a St. Jude Hero singlet to hotel accommodations, depending on the event and fundraising commitment — and entries into some of the most exclusive races in the world.

(11/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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St Jude Memphis Marathon

St Jude Memphis Marathon

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is more than just a race. It's an action-packed weekend of fun, food and entertainment! Start and finish lines two blocks apart and near a dozen Downtown hotels, lots of restaurants, and Beale Street, the Memphis entertainment district. Dynamic finish in AAA baseball stadium, with use of locker rooms and shower facilities. Wave start,...

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Jaxon Hindman is training for his next marathon, he’s a survivor, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2014

“The doctor called my mom back and when she came out again like 15 minutes later, she was just bawling,” recounted Hindman. “I didn’t really understand at the time. Her exact words at the time were ‘there’s something in your head that doesn’t need to be there.’”  

He underwent 30 radiation treatments and four chemo treatments before becoming cancer-free 6 months later.

That same year, Team Jaxon 2 was created, where his family ran the St. Jude race in his honor. From that point on, Jaxon wanted to run too.

With a 5K and two half-marathons under his belt, Jaxon got the okay from his doctor to finally run a marathon last year.

A smile comes to his face, when he’s asked how it felt to cross that finish line.

“Watching that, I started to tear up,” Hindman said. “It’s just so inspiring. I had my whole family beside the finish line holding my banner.”

Now the high school senior is a proud eagle scout and shoots competitive air rifle.

In December, he’s gearing up for St jude, another 26.2 miles.

“That’s been one of the biggest things for me to realize how much of an impact I have on other people being a patient and going out and running a full marathon.”

The motivation comes from patients like himself.  

“I’m running this race for them,” commented Hindman. “So I can’t quit now. They can’t quit either.”

Jaxon’s team has raised over $10,000 for St. Jude Hospital. 

However, he’s not stopping there. Jaxon has plans to study anesthesiology and return to St. Jude to help other patients in the future.

(11/12/2019) ⚡AMP
by Rebecca Butcher
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St Jude Memphis Marathon

St Jude Memphis Marathon

The St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is more than just a race. It's an action-packed weekend of fun, food and entertainment! Start and finish lines two blocks apart and near a dozen Downtown hotels, lots of restaurants, and Beale Street, the Memphis entertainment district. Dynamic finish in AAA baseball stadium, with use of locker rooms and shower facilities. Wave start,...

more...
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Some races are getting smaller but not the St. Jude Memphis Marathon

While many races around the country were fretting over declining registration numbers, the St. Jude Memphis Marathon was in the enviable position of seeing gains. The Dec. 2 event saw 25,000 participants, 8,000 of whom raised funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. That fundraising brought in $10.3 million this year. And perhaps more importantly, 30 percent of runners returned after running the race the year before. The life-saving care is surely a factor of success (02/08/2018) ⚡AMP
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St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is upon us

If you’re not taking part in one of Saturday’s races, you can support the runners by cheering them on along the route. One place to do so: Crosstown Arts, which is hosting the “Cancer is a Drag” St. Jude Marathon spirit station from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the parking lot in front of the Cleveland Street Flea Market at 438 N. Cleveland. Bring your noisemakers and posters to cheer on the runners, and enjoy drag performances, vegan pancakes, bloody marys and more. (11/29/2017) ⚡AMP
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