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The Marlo Thomas Interview (Page 1 of 4)

An Interview with Marlo Thomas

Gary Barg: Tell me a bit about the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Thanks and Giving campaign.

Marlo Thomas: One of the reasons that St. Jude is so distinctive is that it is a research and treatment center under one roof. When my father was first planning on building a hospital for children with cancer and other deadly diseases, one of the scientists said, “If you really want to help sick kids, Danny, don’t just try to make kids better; try to find out what makes them sick.” That became the mission of the hospital, devoted to the study of disease in children.

We have an international intellectual community and they are the leading doctors and scientists in the world for children with catastrophic diseases. And my father made an important promise to make St. Jude the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for the care they receive. And no child is ever turned away because of the family’s inability to pay. The Thanks and Giving campaign has helped very much to spread awareness of the unique work of St. Jude. It is the real deal.

Gary Barg: How do I tell caregivers to get involved in the Thanks and Giving campaign?

Marlo Thomas: St. Jude is about families. We decided that the day after Thanksgiving would be a good day to start the campaign because the holiday feast is over and families are together watching football games, eating leftovers, and beginning to shop. We thought, why not begin by joiningthem at the mall? We have made it very easy for people to give. While they are out shopping anyway for their families and friends and spending money, we ask them to remember the kids of St. Jude, many of whom will not be home for the holidays, and leave something for  the children —a dollar, five dollars.

Gary Barg: That is terrific.

 

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