Thank You, GNA Nation

I want to start this post off by thanking all of our loyal GNA listeners and friends.

Thank you for what you have done in the past, and for what we know you guys will do over the next few days as we get ready for GNA's 19th annual St. Jude Radiothon on Thursday and Friday, but first, I'd like to share a quick story with you.

Back in October of 2009, my friend Tim lost his little boy Ben to Osteosarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. Ben was 9 when he passed, and I felt fortunate to have known him for about two years before his little body couldn't fight any longer.

In the short time I knew him, even at his sickest, Ben was always full of life and adventure.  He was a typical little boy who played sports in the streets, fought with his action figures (and his twin brother), and played video games. And Ben loved to sing Karaoke, and man could he rock out.

My Son is my World

My son, Brody, is 8, and he's my world.

I'm so thankful that he's happy and healthy and I feel like every day I get to spend with him is a blessing. I can't even imagine what would happen to me if Brody ever got sick - like, really sick.  I can't even bring myself to say that "c" word because I hate it so freaking much.

But if you're a parent reading this, I'm sure you can relate. Imagine hearing a doctor tell you that your kid has cancer.  Now, deliver that news to your kid.

A few years ago during a St. Jude Radiothon, when speaking on-air about Ben, I said, "No parent should ever have to tell their little boy or girl they have cancer."

Tim, who was listening to the show that morning sent me a simple text upon hearing that. It read, "No 6-year-old should ever have to ask if he's going to die."

That broke me. I couldn't even speak on-air for the next 10 minutes.

"st jude 2024" st jude radiothon on 1077 WGNA, st jude 2024 , st jude radionthon WGNA 2024
Ben Stowell passed away from childhood cancer when he was just 9-years-old. No child should ever die in the dawn of life.

I've often praised Tim for possessing the kind of strength that as a father, I don't think I have.  Heck, there are nights when I tuck my little man into bed, give him a kiss on his forehead (to which he always jokingly moves out of the way), and then I turn off the lights.

When I'm about to leave his bedroom, I always look back and give him one more wave and tell him I love him.

We Won't Stop

Oftentimes, I think about the parents who say and do those same things, except they're saying "good night" to their children inside hospitals and Oncology wards. That's why we do the St. Jude Radiothon each year - for two straight days.

We do it for the parents who stay up at night with a sick kid by their side fighting back tears.   We do it for the children in the hospital, right now, waiting for a miracle.
We do it for the 2 out of 10 who won't survive this dreadful disease and the 8 out of 10 who will.  We won't stop until the cure rate among kids with cancer is at 100%.
Last year, thanks to "GNAtion" generosity, we were able to raise over $200,000 that goes directly toward the fight against childhood cancer and we need more of that this year.

The Station will Sound...Different

For the next two days, beginning at 6 am on Thursday, you'll hear stories from desperate parents whose kids were stricken with cancer and sadly didn't make it.

You'll hear me, Chrissy, or Matty on-air, and at times so overcome with emotion that it becomes difficult to complete sentences.

You’re also going hear from the country stars themselves, as they share their stories about the wonderful work at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. And you'll hear from doctors and scientists about advances and cures.

But, none of that matters, unless we hear from you - and we know that we will.  So again, thank you!

Listen to this Thursday and Friday, February 1st and 2nd for the annual Country Cares Radiothon to benefit St. Jude, sponsored by Dom's Pizza Subs and Wings.

To donate, call 1-800-372-4999 or click the button below.


More From 107.7 WGNA