GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Dec. 5, 2012) – A five-story house now serves as a home away from home for families of children who are undergoing cancer treatments in the Dominican Republic. The official unveiling of the "Share the Cure House” will take place at Keira Grace Foundation’s annual fundraising event, "Share the Cure 2013,” at Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall on Feb. 16. The event will showcase advances being made through the nonprofit’s campaign, "Deliver the Cure: Dominican Republic,” and focus on raising funds to support the pediatric cancer patients and their families.
For the past eight years, Drs. Michael and Eileen Lauzardo have focused their charity’s efforts on pediatric cancer patients in the Dominican Republic, making Keira Grace Foundation the only family foundation bringing cancer treatment to children in developing countries. Within the past three years, Keira Grace Foundation has been working with its Dominican Republic sister foundation, Fundacion Amigos contra el Cancer Infantil, to build a host home for pediatric cancer families for extended overnight stays during cancer treatments.
"The Share the Cure House provides a central place for children who are receiving cancer treatment to not only stay and be with their families, but also receive ongoing education and have a safe place to play and just be a kid,” says Dr. Michael Lauzardo, co-founder of Keira Grace Foundation and chief of infectious disease at the University of Florida College of Medicine. "Having had two children go through cancer treatments, Eileen and I can empathize with families who are going through this process. Having the house right next to the hospital will alleviate a huge stress for families who typically travel long distances for their child’s treatment.”
Former University of Florida wide receiver and Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee, Chris Doering has been named the honorary chair for the event and has previously accompanied Dr. Lauzardo to visit the pediatric cancer patients and check the progress of the house.
"This house is a major asset to this community; up until now they had nothing like it in the country,” says Doering. "We are excited to showcase the Share the Cure House at the event. The Gainesville community has been very supportive of this initiative and we want to thank them personally at the event.”
David Snyder, evening anchor on WCJB TV 20 and media personality, Ilene Silverman, will host Keira Grace Foundation’s "Share the Cure 2013,” which will raise funds for ongoing cancer treatments for pediatric patients and overnight stays for their families in the Share the Cure House. The event begins at 7 p.m. with cocktails and dinner provided by Blue Water Bay restaurant. An afterparty celebration will follow the event hosted by DJ Matt of Innovative Entertainment. Tickets to the event are $99 if purchased in advance, or $110 starting Feb. 1. To purchase tickets go to: http://www.keiragracefoundation.com/news/events.php.