The children of St. Jude – Damien

His mom sits on a huge couch in the Amy Grant Music Room at Target House near St. Jude in Memphis, answering all our questions comfortably until he spots our camera.  Then Damien Chiasson-Larson starts hamming it up, pulling all the cushions out from around her and building a huge pillow fort.  Damien is, shall we say, energetic.  But that’s ok;  he’s a little kid who’s going through a lot.

“He is 5 so he understands some of it but we’re not sure to what extent he understands all that’s happening to him,” says Heather Chiasson-Larson.

Mom’s patient with him and says the staff is patient with the whole family.

“They’ll answer questions a thousand times over, no matter how many times you ask, she says.  “Regardless of who’s asking it.  And they’ll explain everything, every tiny little bit.”

Damien is battling a brain tumor.  It’s a lengthy and complicated treatment.

“The doctors and nurses will stay with us as long as we need them to,” Heather says.  “Whether we’re inpatient or outpatient, child life, speech therapist, occupational therapist, they’ll all sit there and listen.  They could have heard the story a thousand times but they’ll all just sit there and still listen.”

Patients’ families never get a bill from St. Jude and Heather says so many other things are taken care of, also.

“It’s the little things, she says.  “To not have to buy your own groceries.  To not have to worry about that and to not have to worry about driving if you don’t a car…they provide it all for you.  It takes a lot.  Every little penny helps.”  

Related Articles

President Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons President Donald Trump endorsed stricter gun-control measures Thursday, including raising the minimum age to 21 for possessing a broader range of weap...
Sen. Rubio says he would support raising age to buy rifles GOP Sen. Marco Rubio said he would support laws barring those 18 and under from buying rifles.
Soft lock down at Union City and Obion County schools due to online threat Obion County Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder says officers and deputies are doing safety checks at the schools.
President Trump says guns only for ‘gun adept teachers’ President Donald Trump is continuing to talk about the possibility of arming teachers, saying he means concealed weapons for "gun adept teachers with ...