Former St. Jude's Patient Tells Her Story

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"Before I got diagnosed I was worried about boyfriends and school dances. Then I was fighting for my life."

Erika Albert was 13 when she first found out she had cancer.

"I was experiencing some severe leg pain. I was a runner. About 6 months later we figured out what was wrong."

Doctors discovered she had a tumor on her spine and performed emergency surgery.

"They sent out a sample of the tumor to a lot of different hospitals. And because it was such a rare tumor, St. Jude responded."

In 1995 Erika had her first visit at St. Jude. That's when she was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing Sarcoma.

"Then started a yearlong cancer treatment. Got both chemotherapy and radiation at St. Jude."

Now Erika credits St. Jude with saving her life.

"It's just all about the people. The other patient’s doctors and nurses they don't treat you like a patient. They treat you like part of your family."

Erika says the cure rate for Ewing sarcoma was only five percent in 1970. Since then, researchers at St. Jude have brought that number up to 70 percent.

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