In the next day or so, you'll hear a lot of numbers and a lot of statistics, and most of them will be positive. Numbers of Partners in Hope, numbers of phone lines lit with good people like yourself making generous donations, numbers of children's lives saved every year with the research provided by the angels at St. Jude.  I hope we raise 200,000 dollars by the end of our WGNA St. Jude Children's Hospital Radiothon. But there's only one number that matters to me, and we cannot stop until we get there.  That number is 100.

In high school, if you average a 90 or a 95, you'll more than likely have your pick of the litter choosing a college. If you play basketball, and shoot better than 50 percent from the field, you're more than likely selected be an All-Star.  If we're talking about the business or movie world, and your review rating is in the high 80's to mid-90's, you'll soar to the top of most lists, making you a strong candidate to win the battle over consumer dollars.  But in the world of cancer, while an 80 percent overall success rate is a vast improvement over where we've been, it's simply not good enough. The only number that matters is 100.  We can't settle for 80 percent, or even 90.

Try selling an 80 percent cure rate to a mom and dad of a 4-year-old recently diagnosed with cancer.  Sure it sounds good on paper, but the reality is, 2 kids out of 10 won't survive.  Take a look around your kid's classroom; if 20 kids have cancer tomorrow, are you comfortable knowing that 8 parents will bury 4 of those children?  I sure as hell wouldn't.

That's why the only number, the only percentage that matters, is 100 percent.

Your donations, you becoming a Partner in Hope in crucial to this fight against childhood cancer.  It's $20 a month.  About 1/3 the amount that you spend on your child's school supplies every year.  Unless of course, your child is one of the not-so-lucky 20 percent.

Think about that.


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