SAAC Hosts Nine-Year-Old St. Jude's Patient

Dec. 5, 2011

LAWRENCE, Kan. – At one of its recent weekly meetings, KU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee welcomed a special guest from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Tucker Wagner was joined by his mom and older brother to share his story as well as raise awareness and support for St. Jude’s, a hospital that has given them so much hope.

Tucker is a nine-year-old brain-cancer patient from Lawrence, and naturally he’s a big Jayhawk fan. Yawning halfway through the late-night meeting, his mom wrapped up her speech on how important it is to support the hospital. After all, she didn’t want to delay Tucker’s tour of the Kansas athletics facilities. Justin Wesley, a junior forward on the men’s basketball team, gave the Wagner family a tour of Allen Fieldhouse and an exclusive look inside the locker room and players’ lounge.


Chelsea Mayta, a senior member of the KU spirit squad, organized the evening. She doubles as a representative of Up `Til Dawn, a program at KU that raises funds for St. Jude’s.

“On October 25 we held a letter-writing event in the Kansas Union sending out letters asking for donations to go directly to St. Jude’s,” said Mayta, a fourth-year Rock Chalk Dancer. “We reached out this year to pair with SAAC in hopes of raising more awareness for Up `Til Dawn.”

SAAC members were urged to write letters to their families and friends to raise money for the cause and will continue to support St. Jude’s with more events in the near future.

“Tucker will be back at KU this winter to participate in a program called `Jayhawk Dreams’, Mayta said. “He will come to a women’s basketball game, sit on the bench with them during the game and hang out with the players. It is amazing to see our athletes become involved in this program and help out a family in need.”