“I had fevers multiple times in a week and developed a bulge under my right eye,” DiVeronica said to KOIN.
At the time, his family lived in Florida, but they were referred to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis for his treatment.
“That’s why I went to St. Jude,” he said. “Even then they told my parents I had a 50/50 chance of surviving.”
The hospital in Memphis brings in children with catastrophic diseases from around the country. Everything, from the flights to treatments and lodging, is paid for by St. Jude.
DiVeronica says St. Jude provides, “not just the hope, but also making it financially possible for those families.”
The time he spent at St. Jude made DiVeronica want to pursue a career as a doctor. Now he’s in internist at the VA hospital in Portland, giving back to the profession that saved his life.
“The medical setting was very familiar for me.” DiVeronica said. “I was always intrigued by the science going on, what they were testing for definitely steered me down the pathway.”