Fifty years ago the statue of St. Jude was unveiled on the grounds of the hospital named in his honor.
"To those of you who are Christian and believe in relics, there is a relic of St. Jude in this cornerstone. We got special permission to put it in, so it's virtually an altar for those who appreciate this kind of altar and for all others, it's a nice looking statue," said Danny Thomas, the founder of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Years before the dedication, Danny Thomas was a struggling entertainer. When he was at one of his lowest points he wanted to know if he was on the right career path, so he prayed to a statue of St. Jude saying, "Show me my way in life and I'll build you a shrine."
"Imagine if everybody had a dream like that and could do something like this, how it would benefit people worldwide," said Stacey Schultz-Cherry, a researcher at St. Jude.
Years later, Danny became an award winning actor and comedian and he never forgot his promise to St. Jude.
"An immense sense of gratitude for Danny Thomas to have that dream and to follow through with that," said Kelly Church, the mother of a St. Jude patient.
The "shrine" he built was a state-of-the-art hospital where children would be cared for regardless of race, religion, or ability to pay.
"Thank you Danny Thomas, because if it wasn't for him and his vision 50 years ago we wouldn't be here... being able to do the things we do as far as nursing and health care," said Angel Parker, a nurse at St. Jude.
Now 50 years after the unveiling of the statue of St. Jude, Danny's simple prayer is still alive in the hospital's motto... Finding Cures, Saving Children.
It costs a staggering $1.8 million a day to operate St. Jude. The cost is mainly covered by public contributions. You can help keep Danny's vision alive by buying tickets to our dream home. You can get them at Ashley Furniture HomeStore in Bowling Green, Farmers National Bank, Houchens Market locations in Bowling Green and Glasgow, Crossroads IGA in Bowling Green, Autotruck Financial Credit Union, by calling
1-800-834-5461, or by logging onto dreamhome.org.