Our day at St. Jude’s Hospital

by Eric Miller

Last week, Michelle and I were invited by Brizo to visit beautiful Memphis, Tennessee for a week of factory tours, viewing new products, visting St. Jude’s Hospital, and seeing the sights around town. A group 80 influential bloggers and designers arrived at the charming and historic Peabody Hotel for the Brizo Blogger 19 Reunion and were treated to a really fun week of activities. Without a doubt, one of the most memorable days of the trip was the tour of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Let’s just say it was a real life changer!

Target House | Brizo Blog Tour | St. Jude's Hospital | Studio M

Once we arrived, the entire “blogger 19″ crew was greeted by the St. Jude & Brizo staff  (accompanied by a beautiful banner) and what became of the day was so touching and special that we just had to share! Before we toured the hospital, we got to check out St. Jude’s Target House.

Partnering with Target stores in 1996, St. Jude completed the Target House project in 1999 with 50 apartments that can accommodate up to 98 families at a time. The best part about the Target House, though, is that all of the accommodations are free to the families! Literally, no one pays a dime to stay at the Target House… Such a blessing for anyone with a child facing a life threatening disease.

Target House | Pavilion Design | Commercial Interior | Brizo Blog Tour | St. Jude's Hospital

Living Room Design | Target House | Stenciled Wall | Brizo Blog Tour | Studio M

We found the rooms to be AWESOME, not to mention they could accomodate a family of up to four! There were also several amenity or gathering spaces throughout the house. These rooms were designed by celebrities like Shaun White, Tiger Woods, Amy Grant, and Brad Paisley (among others). I have to say that my favorite room was designed by Shaun White (the famous snow boarder) although Amy Grant’s room was equally as impressive.

Target House | Art Room | Craft Room | Children's Room | Brizo Blog Tour | St. Jude's Hospital | Studio M

Target House | Shaun White | Brizo Blog Tour | St. Jude's Hospital | Studio M

Pig Table | Pig Tray | Target House | Shaun White | St. Jude's Hospital | Studio M

We totally adored the cute pig tray table in the Shaun White room!

The next stop on the tour was the St. Judes hospital. Here, we finally got to interact with some of the patients! You would not believe how uplifting and inspiring these kids are. Most have serious if not possibly terminal conditions, yet they stay so positive and happy. We enjoyed spending time and doing activities with the children. For instance, the group was split up and participated in a variety of activities from arts and crafts, decorating special decked-out dollhouses to hamming it up in a music-themed photo shoot.

Custom Dollhouse | Playing with Kids | Terminally Ill Children | Brizo Blog Tour | St. Jude's Hospital | Studio M

Custom Dollhouse | Playing with Kids | Terminally Ill Children | Brizo Blog Tour | St. Jude's Hospital | Studio M

Coloring Activity | Terminally Ill | Arts and Crafts | Children's Hospital | Brizo Blog Tour | St. Jude | Studio M

Music Photo Shoot | Musical Instruments | Brizo Blog Tour | St. Jude's Hospital | Studio M

After the hospital tour, we “snuck” off to check out the Danny Thomas memorial garden. Danny founded St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee in 1962.  Mr. Thomas vowed that if he became a famous actor he would give back to the patron saint of hopeless causes, St. Jude. Primarily treating childhood cancer, St. Jude’s mission is to find cures for catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. In fact, 81 cents of every dollar donated to St. Jude goes directly towards funding the research necessary to fight some of the most heart-breaking diseases.

Danny Thomas | Danny Thomas Memorial | Memorial Garden | Brizo Blog Tour | St. Jude's Hospital

Danny Thomas | Brizo Blog Tour | St. Jude's Hospital | Studio M

We wrapped up our day with a new appreciation for this well-known charity and the causes that it stands for. Both Brizo and St. Jude’s made us feel welcome and thankful for today. Both the Target House and the hospital were amazing at creating a vibrant and hopeful place for children with unfortunate situations to come together, play, and be relaxed.

I encourage  you  to help fight these childhood diseases with St. Jude by donating here (it’s for a good cause and you’ll be glad you did!). Can you believe that operating costs for St. Jude is at $1.8 million dollars per day, all of which are raised through public donations and contributions?!

Group Photo | Blogger 19 Reunion | Brizo Blog Tour | St. Jude's Hospital | Studio M

Photos via Brizo, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, & HBG Inc.
Stay tuned for the second part of our Brizo trip, where we share some of the spectacular products and facilities that make up the Brizo brand! Trust me when I say you won’t want to miss this….Until then!

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Brizo Blog Tour | St. Jude’s Hospital | Studio M
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About Eric Miller

Eric Miller joined the Studio M team as the Director of Communications. This role required that he oversee the marketing, social media, special events, public relations, and overall imagery for the firm.

Eric comes to Studio M with over six years of experience in strategic management and communications for two high-profile real estate developments in the Tampa Bay area. His broad experience included managing construction schedules, budgets and personnel, while also coordinating the media relations and communications for each project.

He enjoys football (go Noles), traveling, entrepreneurial endeavors, and has recently found his passion for golf. Eric and his wife Kenna reside in Clearwater, Florida. Left wanting more? Be sure to check him out on Google+.

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