Mary Alexander, a Healthcare Hero at KMC, Makes a Difference Every Year for the Kids and Families of St. Jude

Mary Alexander is a healthcare hero on our Kirby Team and a hero making a huge difference for the kids and families of St. Jude, helping to raise thousands of dollars each year.

"Nine years ago, Tricia Shaw invited me to help her coordinate our first Monticello Run, at that time I didn’t know a lot about St Jude Children’s Hospital other than the basics – they treat sick kids. I have learned so much more over the years. Danny Thomas’ quote “No child should die in the dawn of life.” really spoke to my heart. I have participated as Co-Coordinator and a St Jude Runner ever since.

I do this for many reasons:

  • St Jude Research is shared freely worldwide with other healthcare providers to save children all over the world.
  • The survival rate has increased from 20% to nearly 90%. WOW!
  • Parents should not have to worry about anything other than helping their child survive.
  • During my first year running into Peoria, meeting and greeting children of all ages that are alive because of St Jude, families of children that did not win their battles is an emotion I cannot put in words, it is definitely a feeling you don’t forget.
  • Helping to share knowledge of what St Jude is about, what and why they do what they do.

Our event is about a years’ worth of fundraising through many creative ways. My favorite is my St.Jude Donation Sale that I have each year. It allows me to share about our run and the great things St.Jude is about with so many people. This year, the sale raised $4,300. Then on run weekend, typically the first weekend in August, we take off from Monticello on foot and run relay style through the night into Saturday and arrive in Peoria around 4pm. Along the route we meet so many generous people that donate money, meals and support – it’s a push that keeps us moving. There are 36 satellite teams from around the state running on the same day, Peoria is the Midwest Affiliate for St.Jude Children’s Hospital.

This fundraising does so much for families in need. These families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment costs, food, travel expenses, housing and more. It also helps cover cost of treatments, “no more chemo” parties and celebrations.

2020 was a unique year for a lot of things including our run. We were thrilled to be able to still raise $60,000.

2021 was still a different experience in some ways but we were able to run a traditional style run as a team. Even with fewer than normal runners on the road to Peoria this year, we raised $52,000 for the kids and families of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I cannot express enough how grateful I am to all the friends, family, community members and my Co-workers for all their support the past 9 years."

2022 is the 10th Anniversary run and the planning is already in the works for a bigger and better event! Mary invites anyone that is interested in participating or has more questions to reach out to her at malexander922@ gmail.com.

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