St. Jude: giving families more time

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Posted at 4:00 AM, May 02, 2023

"I miss my boy every day," Katy Mortimer said quietly. "There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about him."

For Mortimer that is 4,015 days, 11 years since her youngest son, Brady, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor.

"I took him back into the pediatrician and she said he was fine, to go home," Mortimer remembered. "I kept insisting that they check, maybe a CT scan, and she agreed. That's when they found the grape size tumor in his brain. He was only 2 1/2 years old."

Brady had surgery to remove the tumor and doctors gave him 30 days to live. Mortimer and her family would not accept that diagnosis.


"We decided to call St. Jude and they had an open spot for Brady and told us we didn't have worry about treatment, travel, housing or food."

For five months Brady fought, doctors at St. Jude did what they could to save the now 3-year-old's life.

"They gave us the gift of more time, how do you put a price on that?" Mortimer asked as she though back to her time with Brady. "More hugs, more kisses, and more 'I Love You's.'"

Mortimer, grateful for what St. Jude did for her family, but still, all these years later she is still left with wonder.


"I always wonder what kind of student he would be, what he would want for Christmas, how he would be interacting with his brother," Mortimer said

Today, Mortimer and her family are giving back to the hospital that gave them so much. She works at ALSAC in the Gift Planning Department.

Her eldest son, Andrew, is a member of the St. Jude Leadership Society and is constantly fundraising for the hospital.


"When we thought he would have so many emotional problems after losing his brother, it wasn't like that," Mortimer said. "It was like what can I do to help my friends at that are still at St. Jude? That has opened my eyes to how this child took something so devastating and flipped it around to something so great which makes me so proud."

Mortimer will always wonder who Brady would have been, what his life would have been like today?

While she will never have the answers to those questions, there is one thing that she is sure of and that is that her son would be proud of her as she continues to help others walk the same journey.