MEMPHIS (KDVR) – FOX31 has sold out of the annual St. Jude Dream Home campaign to raise $2 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

FOX31’s Nicole Fierro traveled to Memphis to learn how ticket donations are helping to hire and retain researchers and doctors that help save patients’ lives.

When finding cures, saving children is your motto, and being present on campus at St. Jude is essential. A global pandemic didn’t change that.

“No, you can’t go home, that’s absolute craziness,” Dr. Cliff Guy said. “At St. Jude, we put people’s feet to the fire so that we can advance the research as quickly as possible because these kids don’t have a lot of time. We’re not messing around. Let’s go and get it done. Be impactful. Be quick about it.”

Guy is the director of lab operations at the St. Jude department of immunology and when lockdowns and social distancing requirements came about, the teams got creative.

“The lab people worked in shifts through the night so that they could still be here,” Guy said. “Some labs, they had three, eight-hour shifts, so they were running 24 hours a day so that they could still have everyone in the lab, but in a safe, socially distanced manner.”

Resilience can be found everywhere across St. Jude Campus. In fact, there’s a center specifically dedicated to staff resilience. Janet Sellers is the manager of it.

“A lot of times we say resilience is bouncing back,” Sellers said. “I think that you have to acknowledge what’s hard and then you have to say, okay, what now?”

Sellers told FOX31 that the Resilience Center started at the end of 2015, acknowledging and addressing burnout and trauma well before the pandemic in 2020. 

With over 5,000 employees, Sellers and the Resilience Center team visit between 400 and 500 staff members a month to check in and offer support. 

“All through that time, I saw time and again that the care that these children and their families received did not change at all,” Sellers said. “That the compassion remained the same, that the empathy remained the same, that the excellent world-renowned care that they were to get, they got.”

The center’s operations are made possible with donations like the St. Jude Dream Home ticket sales, which continued to come in despite the pandemic.