During The Bobby Bones Show's St. Jude Radiothon, Patient #17, also known as Dwight, called into the show to talk about being one of the first patients at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as well as what he does know to help.
Dwight explained to the show that 'Patient #17' was given to him when he was admitted to St. Jude in 1962, the year the hospital opened. Numbers are assigned to the patients when they arrive at the hospital, which makes Dwight the 17th ever patient to walk through the doors. The hospital treats an average of 7,500 individuals annually so one can imagine how high the patient number is now.
Not only does the number signify the beginning of the hospital, Dwight is the longest living St. Jude survivor. He walked into the hospital at 13-years-old with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Dwight shares his vivid memories of the old hospital, noting a hub in the middle and wings coming off of that, making the hospital into somewhat of a star shape. When he was there, all patients were kept in confinement in one wing of the hospital due to all of the 'unknown,' and now the patients are able to freely move around the hospital.
While Bobby Bones was at the hospital a few weeks back to play for the kids, he met Patient #17 Dwight. When Bones ran into Dwight, he was there for a 'Live Study Program' in which Dwight gives back. He lets the doctors and researchers run all kinds of tests on him to see if there is anything they can find from his survival of the cancer that may help other patients.
"I've had a really successful life thanks to St. Jude. [...] I've had a complete, full successful life and now I just want to give back."
Dwight is the longest living survivor of St. Jude and he's also had a very successful life. He's currently a State Representative for the Arkansas General Assembly and is married to a woman named Joan with 2 kids and 4 grandchildren.