Lisa Lester knows all about the magic that St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital delivers, and all she needs to do is look at her son Cole.
Diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when he was 11 years old, Cole Lester joined his mom, who is an engineering technician in Coalinga, as part of Aera Energy’s team of volunteers that worked a radiothon to support the research hospital.
In fact, the Lesters believe in volunteering so much they drove more than two hours from Coalinga to Santa Maria to be a part of the effort, which raised more than $123,000 for St. Jude’s in the northern Santa Barbara County area.
“I know what it’s like to be a kid going through the medical system,” said Cole, who will be the valedictorian of Coalinga High School when he graduates in May.
St. Jude focuses on providing exceptional care to patients with pediatric cancer and other life-threatening diseases such as sickle cell. Unlike many hospitals, St. Jude relies on donations for a majority of its funding. And what makes it even more unique is that families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.
Aera provided eight volunteers, the most in the Santa Maria area, and was a major sponsor of the event.
“I’m proud that Aera is supporting such an important program,” Lisa Lester said.