Meet St. Jude Patient Pepe

Pepe, 2 years old, Tennessee, neuroblastoma

Pepe is a happy and bubbly boy who’s always on the move. But in October 2015, when Pepe was just 6 months old, he developed a cough that wouldn’t go away. Worried, Pepe’s mom took him to the local emergency room, where doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia. But just a few weeks later, the cough came back, and Pepe started having difficulty breathing.

The family returned to the hospital, where a CT scan revealed a mass near Pepe’s left lung. Doctors immediately referred the family to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, in Memphis, Tenn., where it was determined that Pepe suffered from a cancerous tumor called neuroblastoma.

Runners who fundraise for St. Jude while training for their race are called St. Jude Heroes, and they’re helping kids, like Pepe. The funds raised by Heroes help ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

At St. Jude, Pepe underwent chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. Today, he’s finished with treatment and returns to St. Jude for regular checkups. “Even during treatment, Pepe always had a smile on his face,” said his mom. “He made us stronger.”

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