A record-breaking $71,000 was raised at Keira Grace Foundation’s annual fundraising event held at the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall on Feb. 16. The nonprofit’s eighth annual fundraiser, Share the Cure, brought the Gainesville community together for a virtual house raising of the Share the Cure House that will open in the Dominican Republic this year.
The actual five-story house in Santo Domingo serves as a home away from home for families of children who are undergoing cancer treatments at Hospital Infantil Dr. Robert Reid Cabral, in the Dominican Republic. The event also showcased advances being made through the nonprofit’s campaign, “Deliver the Cure: Dominican Republic, which creates a collaboration between U.S. oncologists and the medical team at Hospital Infantil Dr. Robert Reid Cabral while supporting four key areas of cancer treatment: staffing, training, infrastructure and consultation.
“The funds which were so generously donated will be used to continue to support the ongoing treatment of children with cancer in the Dominican Republic, as well as help to initiate the smooth transition to a functioning Share the Cure House, says Dr. Michael Lauzardo, president and co-founder of Keira Grace Foundation.
“This facility will allow families to have a safe, comfortable and free place to reside during their child’s treatment.
Former University of Florida wide receiver and Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee, Chris Doering was the honorary chair for the event and announced he will be hosting trips to the Share the Cure house once it has opened.
Share the Cure 2013 was hosted by WCJB TV 20 evening anchor David Snyder and media personality Ilene Silverman. The event included a special performance by NBC’s former “The Voice contestant, Nathalie Hernandez, and a photographic journey of a Dominican child with cancer and her family was presented. The photographs were shot by Gainesville-based photographer, Randy Batista, on a recent trip with Dr. Lauzardo to the Dominican Republic.
“It’s hard for most people to comprehend the incredible journey that these families risk to bring their child to the hospital for treatments, says Dr. Lauzardo. “It was important for us to illustrate the hurdles that these families encounter to show how vital the Share the Cure House is to them.