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Standing Strong at St. Jude

Evan Rasnick (l) and Originae Brown (r) at St. Jude in Memphis, TN

Evan Rasnick (l) and Originae Brown (r) at St. Jude in Memphis, TN

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital hosted StoryCorps Door-to-Door in Memphis, Tennessee. During our visit we recorded with current patients and serious illness survivors. We also had the opportunity to sit down with physicians and researchers who told about their mission to advance cures and means of prevention for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.

I met Originae Brown and Evan Rasnick, who are both fourteen years old and met each other at St. Jude while receiving cancer treatment. The fourteen-year-olds talked about what it was like to be diagnosed with the same type of rare cancer on their legs, having to relocate to Memphis and about the day they met at St Jude Hospital, one of the world’s foremost cancer research centers. Evan told how Originae’s bubbly personality and determination to win her battle with cancer has helped him remain positive throughout his treatment.

They also spoke about their fears of the possibility of losing their legs, how they stay in touch with friends, family and the communities back in their hometowns– Evan in Virginia and Originae in Louisiana. Even though they are the same age, Originae sees Evan as a younger brother because she is months ahead of him in treatment and she was born two months before him. Their resilience and determination to stay alive is inspiring as they continue to fight the illness and plan for the future.



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