Sylvester Partners with Miami-Dade County to Fight Childhood Cancer

Gabriella Coimbra, Isaiah Hazel and other childhood cancer patients were the center of attention at a press briefing September 8, when Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Hospital Administrator and CEO Richard Ballard joined Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and Commissioner Rebeca Sosa to launch the county’s “Be Bold. Be Gold.” campaign to raise funds for childhood cancer research.

Gabriella is an alert, friendly 8-year-old girl who, until recently, led a life typical of a child her age. When Gabriella’s father noticed a lump under his daughter’s arm a few months ago, however, he had it checked out by a doctor. The diagnosis — Gabriella had cancer — came as a shock to the entire family.

Isaiah is a shy 14-year-old who struggled with diffuse symptoms for more than a year until he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014. After a few months in remission, Isaiah’s cancer returned earlier this year, and he is now scheduled for a bone marrow transplant this fall.

Gabriella and Isaiah are both patients at Sylvester’s pediatric hematology-oncology clinic, alex’s place. Throughout September, which is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, county employees will be encouraged to help children with cancer by participating in the new campaign to raise funds for pediatric cancer research. Their donations will benefit Sylvester, Holtz Children’s Hospital and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

“I am excited that Sylvester is part of Miami-Dade County’s ‘Be Bold. Be Gold.’ campaign,” said Ballard. “I thank Mayor Gimenez, Commissioner Sosa and the Board of County Commissioners for allowing the true heroes in this fight — our patients and their families — to tell their stories. We would like to thank the employees of Miami-Dade County in advance for their generosity, as the campaign gets underway. It is this kind of support that can help change lives.”

“I feel so very encouraged by the outpouring of support for the ‘Be Bold. Be Gold.’ campaign,” said Sosa. “When I proposed the legislation creating it last year, I never could have imagined just how big a movement it would spark. My hope is that through creating awareness and a vehicle for funding care and research, we might move a step closer toward ending this terrible disease that affects so many of our little ones.

“I thank Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, along with Holtz Children’s Hospital and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, for once again answering the call and being an excellent community partner. Now it’s up to all of us to go out and spread the word!”

For more information about the campaign, click here.

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