MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WSAV) — Terry Fletcher is a facility manager at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. He’s been working at the hospital for 20 years.
Fletcher says when his brother Eugene was diagnosed with cancer in 1994, it changed his life forever.
“I received a call from my brother one evening and he said, ‘tomorrow morning, they’re going to amputate one of my fingers,’ and it was interesting because it was kind of out of the blue,” Fletcher said. “The very next day is actually when we first found out about St. Jude.”
His brother lost his battle to cancer four years later in 1998.
“At St. Jude, we’re all about hope,” Fletcher said. “And it was all about giving our family hope.”
After his brother passed, Fletcher wanted to do more to help the foundation that gave his family hope. He says working at St. Jude has allowed him to help families battling similar illnesses.
“I kind of made the joke, ‘maybe I could work here someday,’ just having that connection with our mission, finding cures, saving children,” he said.
“One of those children was my brother at one time,” Fletcher added. “And I feel a really strong connection to that.”
Now, 125 people work in his department maintaining more than 5,000,000 square feet. Since it costs nearly $2.8 million dollars for the hospital to operate each day, every contribution helps families never have to worry about a bill.
“If I told you you could save a life with a hundred bucks, what would you say? ‘Okay, I’ll spend that hundred bucks,’ right? What if I said you could spend 100 bucks and save a whole lot of lives down the line,” Fletcher said.
“Well, you’d think really hard about that too, right? What if I said you could spend one hundred bucks, save a whole lot of lives down the line, and get yourself a really nice home for it? I mean, it’s quite a deal if you ask me,” he added.
Fletcher says every member of the St. Jude team has a hand in saving lives.
“I hope that one day we do enough work at St. Jude that there’s not a need for St. Jude in the future,” he said.
To enter this year’s St. Jude Dream Home Contest, call 800-383-9844 to reserve one of the remaining tickets. Fewer than 500 remain and the campaign is trending toward another sellout. South Carolina residents must call the number to buy a ticket. Georgia residents can visit here to enter online.