When sweet Libbi was only 20 months old, her father, Chris, discovered an unusual lump on her right side. The family knew that something was very wrong with their precious little girl and rushed to Golisano Children’s Hospital. Ultrasound results showed that Libbi had a Wilms’ tumor, which is a type of rare kidney cancer that primarily affects children.
During 2020, Libbi received treatment at Golisano Children’s Hospital, which offers protocols at the same level of excellence as other nationally known centers. “It was a true blessing to have a large facility like Golisano Children’s Hospital near to our home and closer than Miami or Tampa. We were able to drive Libbi over for treatments in just 20 minutes,” said Chris.
In April 2021, on the day Libbi was supposed to ring her bell, declaring her cancer free, her parents noted swelling in her abdomen. What they hoped was a side effect of treatment was devastating. Libbi's tumor had returned. As she started a new round of inpatient treatment, Golisano quickly became the family’s home away from home. “The nurses, doctors, medical assistants and Child Life staff are all amazing. Every single day when we put Libbi in the car for treatments, she would have a smile on her face,” said Libbi’s mom, Stephanie. “They helped my two-year-old feel content, despite spending the majority of her time in a hospital room.” She's spent more than 125 nights this year at Golisano.
For a family in this type of situation, Golisano Children’s Hospital provides the necessary support and resources to help them make it through such difficult circumstances. Funding to meet these needs comes from the hospital’s cancer fund, Barbara’s Friend’s, and the generous donors who ensure no family has to face a cancer diagnosis alone.
The only program of its kind serving children between Tampa and Miami, the recovery rates at Golisano Children's Hospital surpass the national average. However, more than 75% of the children treated are underinsured, on Medicaid or have no form of payment.
Your generosity will ensure that families can focus on their child getting better and not have to worry about how they can afford to cover the cost of treatment. Whether it's providing gas cards, meals during hospital stays or assistance with tough bills, Barbara's Friends will be there to provide support. For children who need intensive, prolonged treatment, this access to exceptional oncology and pediatric services helps parents who might have to quit their jobs in order to care for their children. The ability to stay close to home, near loved ones and friends, is a key advantage that allows parents to balance the needs of the entire family while staying close to home.
Share joy and empower a child while making a lifesaving gift with a local impact. Your donation today stays in Southwest Florida to help a family and their child fight cancer at Golisano Children's Hospital. Be a friend to a child battling cancer today!
Clips for Cancer started in 2018 after Armando Llechu, chief officer of hospital operations for Lee Health, met a very special girl named Mackenzie.
On January 29th, 2008, eight-year-old Mackenzie was diagnosed with an aggressive, cancerous brain tumor called medulloblastoma. Twenty surgeries, thirty radiation treatments, ten months of chemotherapy, and numerous hospital stays would follow.
Currently, Mackenzie is battling late-effect complications as a result of the treatments she received to save her life. She is a strong young hero that continues to defy the odds every day.
Every day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer, which is the second leading cause of death for ages 1-14. To raise awareness and local support in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Southwest Florida community leaders (aka Shavees) will volunteer to have their heads shaved by current and former Golisano Children’s Hospital cancer survivors live on Facebook throughout September.
This year marks the 5th Annual Clips for Cancer event, and we have an ambitious goal...to raise $500,000 to benefit Barbara’s Friends – Golisano Children’s Hospital’s cancer fund! Barbara’s Friends has a 27-year history of helping kids with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders, ensuring that no child is denied treatment due to an ability to pay. Every donation to Barbara’s Friends supports lifesaving services, programs and equipment for the young patients at Golisano Children's Hospital.
In addition to having their heads shaved, each Shavee has a personal goal of raising at least $5,000! Scroll below to see who is braving the shave this year and help them reach their goal.
Want to shave your head? Set up your own fundraising page, stop by any Southwest Florida Great Clips location, get your hair cut/shaved by a stylist* and tag Golisano Children's Hospital (@gch_swfl) and Lee Health Foundation (@LeeHealthFoundation) in a post showing off your new hairdo!
*Price of haircut is your responsibility.