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The NASCAR Foundation Finalizes Single Largest Donation to a Pediatric Oncology Unit

The NASCAR Foundation partners with The V Foundation for Cancer Research, completes final installment of $500,000 donation to University of Florida medical facility

The NASCAR Foundation announced today its final installment of $100,000 as part of a record donation to Shands Hospital for Children at the University of Florida in Gainesville. In partnership with the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the commitment totaled $500,000 – the single largest donation that The NASCAR Foundation has been a part of to support a new pediatric oncology unit.

Each foundation committed $250,000 toward the 18-bed inpatient unit that serves approximately 14 pediatric patients a day. The unit cares for an estimated 288 patients annually.  These children might have cancer and be receiving a bone-marrow transplant, or require a solid organ transplant. They might have a rheumatology/immunology condition or even sickle cell disease.

“The NASCAR Foundation is proud to continue making a difference in the lives of children who are battling cancer and other serious health issues,” said Betty Jane France, The NASCAR Foundation chairwoman. “The direct impact that this contribution is making to Shands Hospital for Children is evident. We are helping improve the quality of care through this donation … from providing a cleaner and safer environment for children to delivering specialized nursing and promising new medications and treatments.” 

“The V Foundation remains committed to fighting pediatric cancer,” said Nick Valvano, CEO of The V Foundation.  “We are thrilled to partner with The NASCAR Foundation to beat this disease.”

The new unit, which is now fully operational, allows young patients to have easier access to their primary care physicians during treatments at the facility. The University of Florida Division of Hematology/ Oncology at Shands Hospital for Children sees nearly 100 new cancer patients per year, with a significant number participating in clinical trials.

Among the direct benefits, the donation has helped fund the construction of an inpatient unit that allows more efficient treatment and communication among staff, patients and their families. The gift has also assisted in the funding for training for a specialized corps of pediatric oncology nurses dedicated to the unit.

“When a parent learns that their child has cancer, their world is changed forever,” said Scott A. Rivkees, M.D., Nemours eminent scholar, professor and chair, department of pediatrics, University of Florida College of Medicine. “Through the wonderful support of The NASCAR Foundation, we help brighten the lives of the families touched by this tough disease and other immunodeficiencies. NASCAR’s support has allowed us to provide top-level cancer care that is world-class for boys and girls in their own backyard and from throughout Florida. We are very grateful for our fantastic partnership with NASCAR, which touches lives every day and turns tears into smiles.” 

The V Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to saving lives by helping to find a cure for cancer, has a well-established record of supporting cancer research.

For more information please visit NASCAR.COM/foundation or www.UFandShands.org.