1010 WINS-Just after 3:30 in the afternoon this past Friday, four-year-old Leukemia patient Avery Lucas was the very first child to ring St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Siteman Cancer Center‘s brand new 12-foot bell that has been erected on a billboard adjacent to the highway at I-44 and Big Bend.
For adults as well as child patients with cancer, hospital workers and specialized teams who provide life-changing care, an emotional ritual called the “ringing of the bell” officially signifies the end of a patient’s treatments and the beginning of a cancer-free existence.
Normally, that bell lives inside the facility — but at this children’s hospital, they’ve taken the party outside for all to celebrate.
As Avery rang the bell inside the cancer ward at the hospital, dozens of family and friends stood by at the billboard to hear the new 12-foot metal bell ring for the first time.
It is estimated that five-to-ten kids complete chemotherapy treatments at the hospital each month and every single one of them will get a chance to ring the new bell and set off the massive billboard chime.