TOPEKA (KSNT) – KSNT StormTrack Meteorologist Matt Miller and 27 News Anchor David George recently visited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis to tour the facilities and meet some amazing people.
During the trip, David met a woman from Junction City who is grateful for the extra time she got with her sick child, Brady. Now, she helps raise funds so other families can receive that same precious gift. Much of this story is in her own words.
Katy Mortimer grew up in Junction City. She went to Kansas State University in Manhattan and married Jason, a soldier from Fort Riley.
Jason and Katy later had two sons, Andrew and Brady, but their lives changed dramatically eleven years ago when Brady was diagnosed with a brain tumor. When Katy got the news of how severe the cancer was she said she felt a deep, sinking feeling. But as they drove through the gates of St. Jude, it was the first time she felt hope in a hopeless situation.
“My two-and-a-half-year-old son Brady was diagnosed with Stage 4 AT-RT brain cancer,” Katy said. “We were told that he had thirty or fewer days to live. With a suggestion from friends and family, they said why not call St. Jude? We called St. Jude, and they had an open protocol for Brady’s type of cancer.”
Brady underwent two intense rounds of chemotherapy, and St. Jude gave Jason and Katy more time with their son.
“We were staying at Target House, which is long-term housing for St. Jude patients, and Brady just thrived when he came here,” Katy said. “Even though he was battling something so big, he was still able to be a child and thrive at this amazing hospital.”
Even though Brady died in August of 2012, about four months after arriving at St. Jude, the Mortimer family has always been grateful for the help and treatment received at St Jude. They are appreciative of the extra time to create more memories as a family.
“We went back home,” Katy said. “We did a lot with our local community, but St. Jude doesn’t end after your child passes away.”
Katy and family have always been a strong advocate for St Jude and childhood cancer awareness, putting together a successful yearly toy drive for Target House. She was also a leading advocate in working with a former Kansas governor in proclaiming that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month throughout the entire state. Now, Katy works in the Gift Planning Department and Jason and Andrew support St. Jude every opportunity they get.
“I kinda felt like I wanted to give more,” Katy said. “We’ve done so many big things in our community and Kansas really showed up around St. Jude…from all over northeast Kansas, so I felt like I had to come back to the hospital that has given my family so much.”
Katy truly believes that she is constantly surrounded by so many people who are family and who believe in the hospital’s mission. She also wants to say something to those thinking about making a donation.
“I encourage everybody out there who is thinking of buying a Dream Home ticket… look, I’m from the local area… it helped my family, and it will continue to help many families globally,” Katy said. “You’ll have a chance to win an amazing house, but also help families just like mine.”
Tickets are going fast, but you still have time to reserve yours to win the four-bedroom, three-bathroom home. Your contribution gives St. Jude families travel, food, lodging and treatment free of charge.
Please call 800-846-2640 to reserve your ticket now.