I'm currently in New Orleans at the Association of Fraternity Advisors Annual Meeting. AFA's philanthropy is St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis, TN. Today, a college freshman named Jessica had her turn at the mic to tell her story. Jessica was a kid when she was diagnosed with leukemia. Through years of chemo and hospitalization, Jessica came to know the benefits of St. Jude's work. One thing Jessica said that hit home with me was how when she left the hospital, she was going to miss it.
Now, to the uninitiated, getting out of the hospital is a great thing! No more crappy food, no more nurses waking you up in the middle of the night, no more stench of hospital antiseptic. But, for those of us who've served a lengthy tour of duty, leaving the hospital isn't necessarily a good thing.
As a patient, you learn to perceive things differently. Those middle-of-the-night disturbances are from friends who happen to be nurses. Those bland hospital walls are security. The frequent interruptions in the day are evidence to just howw much people care about you. Again, leaving the hospital is, for this young lady, not a great thing.
And yet...life goes on. Jessica is now a freshman at Middle Tennessee State University and a recent initiate into Chi Omega, the sister sorority of my fraternity affiliation, Kappa Sigma.
Props to Jessica and all those who've learned so much from the work of St. Jude's.