When Jennifer Combs gave birth to her son Michael, she never imagined he would be diagnosed with cancer just six months later.
"It was heart breaking to know that my little baby was diagnosed with cancer," Combs said.
Michael had optic pathway gliomas, an inoperable brain tumor near his eyes. Combs said she had two options. One was to operate on Michael, which would cause blindness. The other was to travel to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. to explore other treatments.
"They greeted us with open arms and said, 'Don't worry everything is going to be okay. We're going to take care of your son and we're going to save his life," Combs said.
Doctors at St. Jude managed to treat Michael's cancer without removing the tumor and preserving his eyesight. Sixteen years later, Michael is a thriving high school student. He still has tumors, but Combs said they are stable.
Combs said during their time at the hospital they did not pay for living costs or medical treatment, which is standard for every patient that comes through the doors of St. Jude.
Donations and contributions not only go toward patient care, it also helps fund research to find new treatments and protocols. Any breakthrough discovered by doctors at St. Jude is shared on a database with hospitals around the country including Baltimore.
To keep their research efforts going and treating patients, St. Jude is holding a "Walk-Run to End Childhood Cancer" event on Saturday Sept. 24 at Patterson Park in Baltimore.
Combs is excited to be taking part in this event once again, and is encouraging everyone to come out to walk, run and have a good time with their family.
"Bring your costumes, bring your "A" game and bring your happy faces," she said. "We want to have a good time and we want to raise as much money for St. Jude's this year and beat last year."
To learn more about the event and register, click here.