VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – It takes $1.8 million a day to operate St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Thanks to fundraisers, like the golf tournament put on by 10 On Your Side’s Bruce Rader, the hospital is able to stay dedicated to saving the lives of children with terrible diseases.
One such child is this year’s St. Jude Child, six-year-old Aaron Woods. He had a type of brain cancer called medulloblastoma, but thanks to St. Jude and partners like Bruce and his friends, Aaron is cancer free.
You can call Aaron a St. Jude miracle. Last year he had a huge scar down his head from the shunt put in to drain fluid from his brain. Today Aaron’s head is covered with hair, beautiful brown hair.
When you look at him now, he’s able to putt a ball, but more importantly he wants to do that.
“He was essentially laying on the couch 24-7,” said Scott Woods, Aaron’s father. “Now he’s hitting a golf ball. He had four brain surgeries. He looks like a regular kid. You would never know. It is a miracle.”
“I feel stronger … I have lots of friends,” said Aaron.
You could see him running up to some other children at the tournament Thursday. He had no fear in doing that. He was social, and wants to be accepted and included.
“I wouldn’t let him ride the bus last year because he was too weak, and now he rides the bus to and from school,” said Beth Lowney, Aaron’s mother. “It’s the little things you take for granted.”
He’s doing things he’s never done before. He got up and ran around the bases at a softball game last night, eight times. He didn’t even have hair last year,” Lowney said.
St. Jude depends on charity work, like Bruce Rader’s annual golf tournament. And the impact is seen in families like Aaron’s.
“This golf tournament took care of procedures, paid for medicine, paid for food. If they didn’t have events like this Aaron wouldn’t survive. He wouldn’t be with us today,” Woods said. “Every day is Christmas for me. I feel like a kid waking up on Christmas morning. With my son, it’s the feeling that everyday is Christmas.”