Some of you who watch the NFL scouting combine yearly may be aware that NFL Network host Rich Eisen does a yearly drive to raise funds for a spectacular charity. The Run Rich Run event started in 2005. Mr. Eisen, surrounded by some of the world’s greatest athletes in their prime physical condition, ran a 40-yard dash in his on-air broadcast clothing to represent all of us. He showed us what an average person would look like doing these drills. More importantly, he did it to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
In 2019, former Detroit Lions coach Steve Mariucci donated $5,000 to the hospital on the opening day of combine coverage and issued a challenge to the coaches of the NFL to do the same. Over the course of the combine broadcast, several NFL coaches and executives dropped by the broadcast booth to meet the challenge and drop off their donations. Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia quietly stepped in, handed Mr. Eisen a check that left one of the smoothest broadcasters in media today stumbling for words and walked away without discussing the matter further. The actions of the Lions coach inspired the Detroit Lions Podcast to take action.
The Detroit Lions Podcast Charity Event
As a result, The Detroit Lions Podcast is hosting our own charity drive for St. Jude. On November 5th at 9am ET we will kick off our 24-hour St. Jude, “Christmas For The Kids” live stream telethon with a number of huge interviews and conversations with folks important to Lions and NFL fans. You can tune in via our YouTube channel, or directly from this site. We will also kick off our charity auction on November 5th where folks can score signed balls, jerseys, a ski rental home in Colorado and more.
We have set our 2021 goal at $25,000, surpassing Mariucci’s challenge by 5 times. Chris has kicked off the drive with his own donation, and with the help of the Detroit Lions Podcast audience, we have gotten the 2021 campaign off to an amazing start. It is our hope that the Lions and broader NFL community, be they from Reddit, Twitter, broadcaster, podcast listeners, or even the players & coaches themselves will step in and get this done for a great charity. Remember, if we hit the $25,000 mark, Jeff Risdon will don a tutu on the broadcast for your comedic relief.
In addition to a single donation, we have set it up so that those wishing to donate any denomination from $1 and up can do so. If you’d like to donate, you can click here or go to stjude.org/dlp to set up a Credit Card or PayPal donation immediately. All administration costs will again be covered by Chris out of his pocket – 100% of the money raised goes to St. Jude.
About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
By way of a quick summary, let’s talk about what St. Jude is. St. Jude Thaddeus is the patron saint of lost causes. The hospital was the vision of Danny Thomas: the comedian, singer, actor, producer, and philanthropist (eat your heart out Tony Stark), to create an institution where the least fortunate in our society would have someone take up their cause.
In 1962, when St. Jude opened its doors, the survival rate of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer, was 4%. The leader of this hospital was Dr. Donald Pinkel; a man that refused to believe that any cause was hopeless. By 1970 St. Jude could issue a statement that leukemia could no longer be considered an incurable disease. By 1972, the hospital published a study that showed a 50% survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia using a combination of radiation and chemotherapy.
In 1973 the hospital differentiated the different types of leukemia, allowing improved therapy for individual patients. Throughout the ‘70s St. Jude expanded their reach to the treatments of child killing illnesses that targeted those with compromised immune systems like influenza strains, and a certain type of pneumonia which later also affected AIDS patients. In the 1980s bone marrow transplants, identification of neuroblastoma, integrated personalized treatment plans, and countless other cancer-related discoveries and treatments were added to the list of St. Jude accomplishments. In 1987, Thomas announced that St. Jude would be actively seeking a cure for pediatric AIDS.
Mr. Thomas died in 1991, but his legacy has carried on. At the time of his death, the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia had reached 73% from the 4% it was at in 1962. St. Jude has expanded its research to countless diseases, they have a timeline of their achievements available here.
Your Challenge, Should You Choose to Accept It
Not everyone has the extra cash floating around to just give away, times are tight for a lot of us. At the same time, there are a lot of really good people in the Lions fan base. I have seen countless examples of folks stepping up and helping out where they can whenever the opportunity arises. This is your chance to make a difference for people, when they are at the most stressed, trying, and desperate time of their lives. Help them find joy. Help them heal their children. Consider the gauntlet thrown, every dollar counts, don’t feel that what you can spare is too small – it means the world to those in need.
If you don’t have $100, give $10. If you don’t have $10, share $1. Alone human beings are stupid, weak, and frail creatures, but the work of St. Jude proves that together there is no limit to the things we can accomplish. So what do you say #OnePride? Let’s help some sick kids get healthy. Donate now by clicking here.