St. Jude Changes The World Through Promesa y Esperanza
Ed. Note: I’m happy to bring you this post from contributor Daniel Bastardo. In it, he talks about his experience at St. Jude’s “Promesa y Esperanza” conference and what it’s like to be a scientist at St. Jude. I can’t wait for more stories from Daniel and our other contributors. I still have a few new faces to introduce this spring! – Holly
Ask anyone in the world what they think about Memphis, and what answers will you get? Most likely: Elvis, Graceland, rock ’n’ roll and blues, possibly BBQ or civil rights. If they’re in the know, they’ll say St. Jude, too.
Few things make us prouder than St. Jude, though not everyone knows this life-saving place is located right here in Memphis. In late January, nearly 300 Hispanic radio industry professionals, journalists and celebrities visited Memphis with one purpose: to learn about the fascinating work scientists and physicians do at St. Jude.
I’m a scientist at St. Jude and sometimes even I forget how lucky we, as Memphians, are to have St. Jude in town. There is no place in the world like St. Jude. Literally. And the annual seminar, Promesa y Esperanza (Promise and Hope), precisely highlights the unique facets of the hospital and the great achievements we have had in our goal to never rest until no child dies in the dawn of life.
Adamari López, David Chocarro, Victoria Ortíz, JW Cortés, Manu Manzo, among many other Latin American artists were just some of the celebrities that took time from their busy schedules to visit our city and learn about St. Jude.
I spoke with some of them on St. Jude’s red carpet and they told me how touching and inspiring their visits had been; the renowned Puerto Rican actress and TV host Adamari López was particularly in awe with all the work done at St. Jude – she even took a selfie with me! (yes, she took a selfie with me, no the other way around; I don’t know how that happened either…)
As part of the seminar, they visited both clinical and research areas of St. Jude. A group of them visited my lab and interviewed me for their TV shows; I felt like a superstar.
My work focuses on understanding how T cells (think of them as your own defensive military force) consume and process nutrients to produce energy and be able to fight off diseases, tumors, and infections.
Answering their questions made me reflect on my career journey and why it was that I decided to become a scientist. To be honest with you, it was just simply a dream. The dream that my work as a scientist would have the potential to change the world by touching people’s lives.
You might not know this, but St. Jude freely shares its scientific discoveries with the international medical community. This means that thousands of children around the globe are saved yearly due to the work that takes place here in Memphis, funded by people’s generosity.
Seminars like Promesa y Esperanza power the restless efforts of St. Jude’s scientists and physicians to find cures and save children. St. Jude is really changing the world, every day.
Though the seminar Promesa y Esperanza took place a couple of months ago, its impact on the hispanic community continues.
During the first week of April, our guests from more than 100 hispanic radio and TV stations across the nation will join efforts to raise funds for the children of St. Jude. In particular, they will share their knowledge and love for St. Jude with their local audiences through a Radiothon on April 6th and 7th.
Last year alone, the radio and TV programming generated from Promesa y Esperanza helped the hospital raise more than $10 million dollars. (Ed. Note: Wowowow!) And since Promesa y Esperanza radio events began in 1997, they have raised more than $120 million dollars for the hospital! How cool is that?!
So yes, there is a long list of reasons to love Memphis and feel proud about this world-changing city, but St. Jude takes a prime spot on that list. We are all very thankful for all those who came to our city to learn about St. Jude and will now help us spread the love!
Check out more pictures of this past event on IG using the hashtags #StJudePromesa and #UnidosConStJude. And remember, you can also be an Angel of Hope by visiting www.stjude.org/donate or by directly donating to one of your St. Jude Hero friends’ websites.
About The Author
Daniel Bastardo is a Venezuelan scientist at St. Jude with a genuine love for Memphis. He is a runner and social media enthusiast who is passionate about all things local. Find him on all social media outlets as @dbastardo27.