KU Men's Basketball Up 'til Dawn Wednesday

Nov. 11, 2010


Several hundred students gathered in the Ballroom of the Kansas Union Wednesday night to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Individuals and teams prepared letters to be sent to friends and family informing them about St. Jude and encouraging them to donate money towards the hospital.

Each year at the event – named “Up ’til Dawn”, a patient from St. Jude attends and tells his/her story. Jake Louis, a high school freshman from Overland Park – who is now cancer free – stood on the stage with his dad Todd Wednesday night and told everyone about how learning about St. Jude saved his life.

After speaking, Jake was pleasantly surprised when senior basketball players Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar and Mario Little walked in to talk to him and his dad.

Just seven years before – during Head Coach Bill Self’s first year as the basketball coach at KU – Jake and his family were able to come to a basketball game, thinking they were just going to watch the game from the stands.

Knowing Jake’s story, Self made sure that they had an unforgettable experience. Sitting on KU’s bench, Self addressed his players and told them that Jake was the honorary coach for the night.

“Probably an hour after the game, we’re still in the locker room talking to Coach (Self) and his wife and he ends up walking us to our car, asking Jake about his prognosis,” said Todd Louis, Jake’s father.

“This isn’t in front of cameras or anything; this is just a guy checking on him. We’ve been doing these Up ’til Dawn events ever since then.”

Several of KU’s other athletic teams have also been involved with the Up ’til Dawn program in the past.

For more information on the St. Jude Children’s Hospitol’s Up ’til Dawn program, please visit: http://groups.ku.edu/~utildawn