GBR17 Runner Thomas Lorenz


For the first three and a half years of his life, Thomas Lorenz appeared to be a typical young boy, attending pre-school with his friends, inventing new games to play, running up and down the street in front of his house, and snuggling up with his brother and sister for a movie. Little could anyone have suspected that his body would develop Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.

When Mom and Dad received a phone call from the babysitter that Thomas had developed a croup-like cough, the Emergency Room visit at least was an easy choice to make. SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital had been home for all of his hospital needs since his birth. With Thomas’s uncle another ALL patient at Cardinal Glennon and his grandmother a longtime employee, the family has held Cardinal Glennon in very high esteem. Be it for an x-ray at
4 months old, evaluation by an eye doctor at two years, or the middle-of-the-night visit in which an observant Emergency Room nurse noticed signs of something bigger than just a cough, Cardinal Glennon has been there for Thomas and his family.

Literally overnight, the Lorenz family was forever changed: Thomas was battling a disease that would put him through pain and struggle. Nothing could prepare a family for this sudden change, but the love and compassion that poured out from the Cardinal Glennon staff helped to make an impossible situation a little more bearable. With a team of brilliant and kind doctors providing a treatment plan, caring nurses being there for every need, and warm staff making Thomas and his family feel loved, sadness and frustration turned into courage and determination.

However, Thomas’s stay at Cardinal Glennon was also the origin story for a boy who didn’t realize that he had the super powers needed to battle a life-threatening illness. With his many doctors, nurses, hospital staff, friends, and family in his corner, Thomas, an ordinary boy, turned into Super Thomas, a mighty hero capable of battling most any foe, including cancer!

It is due in no small way to the incredible resources provided by Cardinal Glennon that Super Thomas is able to fight with such gusto. During his hospital stays, he has plentiful and attentive care, top quality medical treatments, a comfortable room and bed, tasty food, play areas, clean laundry, playmates and tutors, new games and activities, and fun holiday celebrations. It is through the generosity of the hospital and its donors that such fantastic care is available to Super Thomas and his other friends at Cardinal Glennon. With further support, perhaps Cardinal Glennon can help even more children facing impossibly difficult situations to discover their super powers as well.