Local artist dedicates tour to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
–Ricky Montijo has dedicated his Road to the Run tour through Northern California, Oregon, and Washington to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He has raised almost $1,000 to date and will be performing at the Seattle St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer on Sept. 15, at 10 a.m. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, but Montijo plans to make childhood cancer something “we are not only aware of, but something we aim to prevent year round.”
“I can do what I love and help others. I feel like I have a central message now–and this tour is the start of that,” said Montijo. “The love and support we received on our Road to the Records tour through the U.S. in May 2018 really inspired me to want to help others. So we’re giving back on the Road to the Run tour through August and September, and this is just the beginning.”
This cause is personal to Montijo’s family. “My fiancé and I recently welcomed our new niece, Brielle, into the world. She was perfect and sweet, simply stunning. But our joy and excitement was weighed with the long wait of pending test results that would reveal whether Brielle inherited Retinoblastoma- a rare type of eye cancer that usually develops in early childhood, typically before the age of 5.”
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “when retinoblastoma is associated with a genetic change (mutation) that occurs in all of the body’s cells, it is known as hereditary (or germinal) retinoblastoma. People with this form of retinoblastoma typically develop cancer in both eyes and also have an increased risk of developing several other cancers outside the eye.”
“It was intense waiting for the doctors to arrive. But the tests were delayed due to the lack of availability of doctors in the area who can properly perform the test. It ended up taking a few weeks to hear back, but we were all so relieved to receive a negative result!” says Ricky of the experience. “This is our third niece born to my future sister-in-law to have been born cancer-free. We are so blessed. Now it’s our turn to be an army for other families affected by childhood cancer.”
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
Because the majority of St. Jude funding comes from individual contributors. St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving kids regardless of their financial situation. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, so every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.