An experienced paralegal and teacher, Ashley Hewitt of South Carolina (SC) also takes an active role in her community. Ashley Hewitt of SC stands out as former organizer of the Bike-A-Thon, a fund raiser that benefited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Recognized worldwide as a developer of innovative pediatric oncology treatments, St. Jude Children’s Hospital also offers state-of-the-art care at no cost to families. The hospital covers not only treatment but also travel, hospitality, and other costs associated with seeking medical care, so that families can focus on helping their children become well. St. Jude commits to each patient throughout the time required for treatment, which can last up to several years, and the hospital follows up for a full decade after treatment has ended.
Operational costs for the hospital total $2.2 million per day, and 75 percent of these costs are met with public donations. These donations go not only to funding children’s care, but also to the development of life-saving treatments. Since the hospital’s founding in 1962, these treatments have helped to drive childhood cancer survival rates from 20 percent to 80 percent or more.
The organization continues to develop new treatments and to share its knowledge with doctors across the world. Donor funds help St. Jude’s to publicize its findings as well as to sponsor training for healthcare professionals worldwide, who can then bring cutting-edge care to children in their home countries.