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Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: In remembrance of Ryan, who met Katharine McPhee thanks to St. Jude


Katharine and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital:

In 2010, Katharine visited the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital a couple times and they got to take her around. She visited some of the laboratories where they were doing the work and research for the kids.

Later that year, she hosted their carnival: Singing a little song for the kids and helping them decorating.

One year later, she recorded a holiday video with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

September 2021 being Katharine’s first “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month” as a new mom herself, she posted on her Instagram about St. Jude’s Hospital to create awareness and asking her followers to donate to the hospital.

But, taking it back to 2010, during the very first event – the carnival – that’s where Ryan met Katharine.

Ryan & Katharine:

Katharine & Ryan in 2010 | Photo courtesy of Dorie, Ryan’s mom

Today, during this important month of Childhood Cancer Awareness, we share the story of Ryan, who met Katharine back in 2010 during her battle.

Ryan’s mom, Dorie, shares her story with us:

“Katharine visited St. Jude in May 2010 for the Target Carnival in the St. Jude pavilion. She was the special musical guest, so all of the children enjoyed a private concert. Ryan was very sick, but she insisted on going, because she loved Katharine’s music. We attended, literally with a puke bag in hand! This is also why I only have one picture – She didn’t feel well.

Katharine spent so much time with each and every patient, including Ryan, and she made each of them feel special. She signed a picture and Ryan left with a CD. Thereafter, Ryan became a HUGE fan of Smash.

It truly lifts the spirits of the patients when people like Katharine visit. It’s so special and such a welcome break from their grueling treatments.”

This was Ryan:

Dorie: “My daughter passed away several years ago. She had adrenal cortical carcinoma. It is a 1 in 3 million diagnosis in children, and St. Jude was the only place actively researching the disease. St. Jude gave us 3 years with our girl that we wouldn’t have otherwise had, but sadly, we lost her at age 11. There have been many cures, but this disease is unfortunately not cured.

When Ryan relapsed, we returned to St. Jude. Watching Smash was our “girl time”. It was the happiest time of our week.

Ryan always advocated for St. Jude. She spoke to many corporations and celebrities with such maturity at age 8. When she was in treatment, I decided to run the St. Jude marathon. I was not a big runner before that.

For 14 years, to honor my daughter’s fight and now her memory, I have been participating in this race weekend (different distances each year). I have taken up her torch to continue the fight, and I will continue to do so, so long as I am able, until a cure is found for all cancers. 

I have faith that St. Jude will find that cure, and I know Katharine is a huge advocate and supporter of St. Jude and has been for many years. We thank her so much. These kids endure so much pain. Visits from people like Katharine make days brighter for St. Jude kids. It’s amazing to me that Katharine is still such a loyal supporter and that it means so much to her.

I want to add, that I’m fundraising for St. Jude marathon weekend right now, so if there is any way to put a fundraising link in there, I would definitely appreciate it.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital:

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, located in Memphis, Tennessee, was designated as an NCI cancer center in 1977 and named a comprehensive cancer center in 2008. The mission of the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center is to advance cures for pediatric cancer through research and treatment.

The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.

Watch the video Katharine made for St. Jude back in 2011 for Christmas:


If you want to support team Ryan, please donate to the following link:

You can also donate 55 dollars or more, and receive a hoodie to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital:

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