First Lady Michelle Obama Brings Awareness To C.U.R.E.S. For St. Jude Patients
St. Jude patients and their families won’t soon forget First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit to Memphis on Wednesday. She paid a visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to take part in a patient therapy activity that would allow patients to express their thoughts and feelings about actively participating in their cures.
“She’s so genuine and outgoing. She really cares about what I’m going through. She wants to make a real impact while she’s in office,” said Nicholas (in the photo above) about the FLOTUS.
St. Jude Child Life therapists were on hand to lead the art activity. The mission was to creatively decorate large foam letters that spell CURES. Later the patients discussed how they could contribute to getting better and staying healthy by taking their medicines and doing what it takes to get well. Once they do get well, they have an open invitation to visit the White House at any time but especially during Christmas. Why Christmas? One patient asked Mrs. Obama what was her favorite Holiday and here’s what she had to say, “Christmas is just everything. The White House is decorated, everyone stops by to visit and guess what? You guys have an open invitation at Christmas to come see me.” Needless to say the patients erupted with cheers and giggles!
So what exactly does CURES stand for?
According to St. Jude:
C – Stands for CANCER. Patients in this group used band aids and markers to describe their diagnosis.
U – Stands for YOU. Patients in this group used paper stars with crayons or markers to describe what helps them in their journey.
R – Stands for RESILIENCE. Patients in this group used crayons and white puzzle pieces to describe what makes them strong.
E – Stands for EVERYONE. Patients in this group used crayons and tongue depressors to describe what they want everyone to know about them.
S – Stands for ST. JUDE. Patients in this group expressed why they love St. Jude and the people they have met here.
Together everyone can contribute to CURES at St. Jude! From the First Lady, to the patients, to parents, Child Life Therapists, and those who graciously give to St. Jude & ALSAC, the children of St. Jude needs everyone’s help to inspire them to get better and better everyday.
According to Rick Shadayac, Chief Executive Officer of ALSAC, federal funding of research has declined and we can continue to do what it takes to help. The public needs to continue to support our efforts. When asked what he thought of First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit to St. Jude, “It was an experience for our kids to interact with the First Lady and it was such a boost. I can’t stop crying. I was so touched by how she interacted with the kids and just her willingness to highlight the importance of our mission.”
After decorating and chatting one-on-one with First Lady Michelle Obama, the children were able to interview the First Lady and their questions were amazing.
What’s The Coolest Thing That You’ve Ever Done?
FLOTUS: THIS! One thing I don’t get to do everywhere that I go is talk one-on-one so this is cool stuff for me. I hope this won’t be my last visit to St. Jude.
What’s Your Favorite Sport Team?
FLOTUS: I love all the Chicago teams, Miami Heat, I love players….LeBron James…let me not go there…”
What have you loved most about your visit to St. Jude?
FLOTUS: You guys! You all are smart, you ask good questions, you’re outgoing, funny…you guys are all that!”
Who’s your favorite music artist?
FLOTUS: Stevie Wonder…he’s my favorite of all time. Let’s see…Beyonce…I like Jazz…I like all types of music!
Do you love Michael Jackson?
FLOTUS: I do!
Who’s your favorite soccer team?
FLOTUS: Oh I don’t know! What your favorite soccer team?
Tyler: Were your dogs puppies when you got them?
FLOTUS: Bo was 5 months and Sunny was 12 months
Devon: Do you have a Secret Stash at the White House?
FLOTUS: If I told you it wouldn’t be a secret! Come here, I’ll whisper it to you.
Sebastian: Where’s your favorite place to go? How many places have you visited?
FLOTUS: Hundreds and hundreds of places. I’ve gone to ever state in the US and lots of different countries.
What’s your favorite family vacation spot?
FLOTUS: Hawaii. We’ve gone every year since Barack and I were dating.
How did you meet the President?
FLOTUS: We were both working at a law firm one Summer. He was the Intern and I was the Summer Advisor.
Who you like to prank the most?
FLOTUS: The President!
Are you a good cook?
FLOTUS: Yes. People at the White House cook for us but I actually enjoy cooking. The President can cook too! He makes a really great chili.
What’s your favorite thing to do?
FLOTUS: Hang out with my daughters although they’re getting busy so now I have to hang out with you guys!
What’s the hardest thing about being the First Lady of the United States?
FLOTUS: Sometimes I get overwhelmed but you get use to the pace of it. I’m kinda use to it.
As the question portion of the evening came to a close, First Lady Michelle Obama was asked one final question:
Can we take a Selfie?
FLOTUS: Sure! I’ll take a selfie with all of you!
Much to her surprise the children informed her about an even better phenomenon–an Usie! So all the children gathered around First Lady Michelle Obama for one more moment that they will cherish forever.
The evening was all about the patients of St. Jude. They asked the best questions and First Lady Michelle Obama was gracious enough to answer each child with sincerity, humor and words of inspiration. In addition, the children did an outstanding job decorating their letters to spell out CURES. First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit was an awesome opportunity for the children to be reminded of the importance to do everything in their power to stay healthy and happy.