Yolanda Adams, with Emmanuel and Larry.
Thankfully, Yolanda Adam's path to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® did not follow the one of so many mothers who pass through the hospital’s doors. She is the mother of a healthy daughter, yet this award-winning artist has made it her calling and commitment to help in the fight against childhood cancer and other catastrophic diseases.
But her passion for the St. Jude cause was kindled from very personal experiences. About three years ago, Yolanda's mother was diagnosed with cancer. She found herself faced with much uncertainty and worry in her struggle to find answers and to also find the best care for her mother. She recognized what a hardship it is for families who must fight a battle against illness alongside their loved ones.
Yolanda Adams is the recipient of four Grammy Awards, four Dove Awards, an American Music Award and seven NAACP Image Awards. But in past days—days that now seem so distant, given her success today as a performer—Yolanda was a school teacher. Her work with young children was a significant influence on her, which led her to speak out and be a true activist for those kids who really need help and who deserve a chance at life. In Yolanda's words, "Kids are innocent, and they come to St. Jude wanting to be the best that they can be…I know how it feels to see kids come in, wanting to do their best, but not feeling their best. I understand that whole dynamic. We have to find a way to make children's lives better. And St. Jude does that."
Yolanda has used her influence as a famous artist to become a true champion for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and its mission of finding cures and saving children. Having been aware of St. Jude for many years, last year she helped bring the St. Jude story to a new audience through her syndicated radio program on Radio One, Inc. The second annual Radio One/St. Jude Radiothon was held on April 2, 2009, and she kicked off the event during The Yolanda Adams Morning Show featuring Yolanda and her co-host, Brother Larry. The radiothon was broadcast on Radio One satellite stations in 11 cities across the United States, and raised $862,753 for the kids at St. Jude.