NewsPositively Hampton Roads


A culture of healing: Teachers keep hope alive by educating kids with cancer

Posted at 5:30 PM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 18:39:12-04

St. Jude is more than a research hospital. The culture of healing includes teaching and learning in more ways than you would expect.

It's a part of that whole family approach. Just ask the manager in charge of the team that keeps those little minds up to date on their lesson plans back home.

"When you're a kid, it's your job to go to school, and so if you remove that - if you tell a kid to stop learning - what you are really doing is you are taking away hope, so St. Jude provides hope this way through the school program," said St. Jude school manager Justin Gardner.

Many of the students have a full schedule of appointments to address their specific medical needs, so the idea of the teaching program is to inject some sense of what a kid would do in school if they weren't fighting cancer.

"Our graduation ceremonies we have every year, so we have a kindergarten graduation that is really stinking cute to see these kids in their caps and gowns," Garner said. "If you spend five minutes walking around the hospital, you see it's a happy place. These kids are energized, they love to learn and love to spend time with each other; they care for each other."

Gardner says the lesson is obvious: Don't stop living for the moments that make up this thing called life.

Click here for more information on how to buy a ticket for a chance to win the 2019 St. Jude Dream Home in Virginia Beach.