Getting back to school can be the best medicine

St. Jude, it's not just about the education; for kids battling life threatening illnesses, school can sometimes be some of the best medicine. (Photo: St. Jude)

Tens of thousands of students all across the Valley are heading back to school.

The kids at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital are also back in class.

But at St. Jude, it's not just about the education; for kids battling life threatening illnesses, school can sometimes be some of the best medicine.

St. Jude School Program Director Laurie Leigh said, “St. Jude is not about just medical treatment and just what is going on medically with a child. St Jude is really all about what the child needs.”

St. Jude teacher, Michaela Shurden said, “As they come to St. Jude, first thing we want to create is a sense of normalcy. So as soon as these kids walk through the door, they're automatically a student, they're no longer a patient.”

“We have two classrooms, the K through 6th classroom, the 7th through 12th grade classroom. And you look around and it looks like any elementary school classroom you know that you can see across America. And I think when children walk in here, they immediately have some feeling of, "oh, ok I know where I am, I'm in a classroom and this is where I should be" and a feeling of being welcome and comfortable,” said Leigh.

“Some kids are just here for maybe 6-8 weeks, they might just be doing radiation and that's it, they get to go home. But we have others who are here for 3 to 6 months, some who are here for 2-3 years. So you can imagine that's a long time not being in school back home so it's important for us to be here and for us be a part of the team because they've got to have school, they've got to have that normalcy,” Shurden.

“We do have a Kindergarten Graduation, so again that's a milestone that these kids really need to feel like they're involved in. I think it's important for kids to know, I've done that! I'm here for treatment but I can do these other things, too and I can have my Kindergarten Graduation, and I'm ready for first grade,” said Leigh.

“Our goal in the end is for them to go back to school, go back into their classroom do everything that their friends are still doing, and just walk right in, be on the same page, not skip a beat,” said Shurden.

The newest St. Jude dream home is now being built.

You could win it, but you will also make a difference in a child's life if you reserve a ticket.

Tickets for the newest St. Jude dream home giveaway went on sale Friday!

Reserve your Early Bird tickets by calling 1-800-543-5887 for a chance to win a trip for two to Hawaii.

It is a beautiful home built once again by De Young Properties in Clovis.

The four bedroom, three bath home is about 25-hundred square feet with a loft and ten-foot ceilings.

Celebrity designer "Michael Maloney" continues his work with St. Jude by building a beautiful, mystery master suite.

Please consider budgeting some cash this year to donate to a good cause.

All proceeds go to making sure no patient or family ever has to pay for medical bills.

Your donations also fund some incredible, ground-breaking research that is used to treat rare childhood cancers and if you donate, you might win a house!

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