Left to Right: Ellery Altshuler, Erica Braschi, Patti Locascio, Eileen Lauzardo, Michael Lauzardo, Sally Scott, Steve Gregg, Olga Mas, and Patrick Bizub
Meet the Advisory Board
I have served on the board of the Keira Grace Foundation for several years. I am honored to serve and I continue to do so because I feel strongly that the Foundation is doing essential, innovative work.
Despite the challenges we all have faced in the United States in recent years we are very blessed to live in this country. The cure rates for children’s cancer in the United States are very high. It is because children get the proven treatment they need. This is NOT the case in many under developed countries. Many children with cancer in these countries will not survive simply because they can not get the same care available in the United States.
The Keira Grace Foundation’s focus is to provide proven treatments and care to these children in innovative ways. This is vital work of which I’m honored to be a small part.
Having studied medicine in the D.R., a country so close to my own of Cuba, which led me to practice my profession as a pediatrician, have all been big draws for me to the foundation. One dinner date with the Lauzardos and several phone calls later led them to ask us to be on the advisory board; I have since had the chance to travel to the D.R. several times to meet our team members doing the work on that side of the foundation, as well as experienced meeting some of the patients who have been the recipients of all the hard work both Mike and Eileen have put in to allow so many children have many more birthdays.
I cannot adequately express my gratitude to being given the gift of being part of something which began from a family’s desire to honor the legacy of their daughter, and having it turn out to be a blessing with so much heart and authenticity.
The Keira Grace Foundation springs forth with new life for those children seemingly left without a cure and lacking the chance for a future.
NIV Isaiah 43-19
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
I am so proud to be able to participate as a board member to the Keira Grace Foundation. Please share with me the joy of life and a future that we so much enjoy everyday with those so less fortunate!!!
I became involved with the Keira Grace Foundation after my first year of medical school, when I had the opportunity to do pediatric oncology research in Santo Domingo, DR. I am from Puerto Rico, and studying health outcomes in a developing country so close to home opened my eyes to the needs of these patients.
The research experience was invaluable but by far the most meaningful part of the trip was sharing a living space and spending quality time with patients and their families at the FACCI house and seeing the impact KGF was making in their lives. Meeting these resilient kids and learning about their stories was priceless and launched me into a lifetime pursuit to treat cancer patients.
I am grateful and privileged to be a part of KGF and support their mission to bring cancer treatment to those who don’t have it easily accessible.
I got involved in the KGF during the end of my first year of medical school. I was looking for a summer research project and asked some older medical students about what kinds of opportunities I might find. Rachel told me that Dr. Michael Lauzardo would help me find something, and the rest is history.
The KGF had provided money to build a house for children and their families undergoing cancer treatment at the hospital across the street. There was an empty room and it was mine if I wanted it, Dr. Mike told me. I could do research during the day and spend my nights with the families below. That summer had a big impact on me. The children would all go to the hospital during the day to get chemotherapy or attend checkups. But in the evenings, the many families became one. The mutual support and kindness of the parents was incredible. They adopted me, always trying to feed me third helpings for dinner and making sure I was part of the dominoes games (some how, I always seemed to lose even though it’s mostly luck).
I am now in residency hoping to become an oncologist. Since I got back, I’ve been a part of the KGF board and hope to remain part of the organization for the rest of my life.