St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Michael Strahan stars, along with St. Jude patients, in national spots to support the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign. (L To R) St. Jude patients Anijah and Laila, Michael Strahan and St. Jude patient Jorge
Michael Strahan is a retired NFL football defensive end who spent his entire 15-year career playing for the New York Giants. After retiring from the NFL, Strahan began working in media and is currently a football analyst on Fox NFL Sunday as well as a co-host alongside Kelly Ripa on the morning talk show Live! with Kelly and Michael.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. Created by Marlo, Terre and Tony Thomas – children of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas – the St. Jude Thanks and Giving Campaign is an annual tradition that kicks off Thanksgiving week and runs through the end of December.
This year is the 10th anniversary of the St. Jude Thanks and Giving Campaign. Over the past decade the campaign has invested $387 million in research and treatment in the ongoing battle to end childhood cancer. The investment is paying off because St. Jude recently announced a cure rate exceeding 90 percent for the most common childhood leukemia, the best outcome worldwide. It has also launched the largest-ever whole-genome sequencing of childhood cancers. The initiative has produced significant advances in aggressive childhood leukemias, brain tumors, central nervous system tumors and eye tumors.
Interview Conducted Via Email By: Giacinta Pace
Q: When there are so many other Charities out there, why do you choose to support St. Jude and the Thanks & Giving Campaign?
Michael: I think the work that St. Jude and the Thanks & Giving Campaign do is amazing and I couldn’t be happier to support them. They keep families together through one of the hardest times of their lives. As a parent, it’s very challenging to imagine having a sick child without any external help. But St. Jude is there to help and step in to make sure families have everything they need free of charge. How can you not support that?
Q: Is there one particularly moving moment you have had while working with this charity?
Michael: Every moment with St. Jude is a moving moment! I recall traveling to Memphis to visit the hospital and the children there were so remarkable. They really touched me. I can only hope I inspired them as much as they inspired me. They lit up the room with their hope and positive energy. I’ll never forget it.
There was one kid, Markell, who has an incredible personality that stands out so much that he just captivates you. He had his leg amputated, but he still has a spirit about him that makes me even more committed to what I do.
Q: What is the nicest thing that someone has done for you?
Michael: I think the nicest thing anyone can do for you is let you be a part of their life. To let you be a friend. You choose those people. I know it sounds simple, but it’s special when you surround yourself with those who care about you.
Q: Would you like to add anything else?
Michael: The holidays are always a time of year when I kick back with my kids and family and give thanks for the many blessings in my life. By supporting the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign, we can help St. Jude ensure that other families get a chance to continue to experience those moments that we all look forward to this time of year. It’s an honor to be a friend to these children. I think St. Jude and the work that they do is extremely important. Danny Thomas made a commitment years ago and his family has continued his legacy - with Marlo and Tony. I’m just happy to be a part of all of that. And hopefully, together, we can continue to make a difference.