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Barbara's Friends

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Barbara's Friends - Golisano Children's Hospital's Cancer Fund

Not long ago, the closest treatment center for children with cancer in Southwest Florida was in Tampa or Miami. With this community's support, Barbara’s Friends has bridged that gap. We are dedicated to providing resources to fulfill the treatment and educational needs of our pediatric oncology and hematology patient population and their families at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Our goal is to keep families together and provide local treatment so that these families are able to keep some normalcy in their lives and allow parents to stay physically and emotionally close to their sick child.

Barbara Haskell - who lost her life at the young age of 32 to breast cancer - is the inspiration and spirit behind her namesake, Barbara’s Friends. After a four-year battle with her illness, Barbara marveled at the bravery of children with cancer. She often wondered how they could cope with the treatments that were sometimes as difficult as the disease itself. After her passing, her parents Betty and Frank Haskell helped make her wish to help children come true by establishing Barbara’s Friends — Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund. The Barbara’s Friends rainbow logo comes from Barbara’s lifelong love of the classic film “The Wizard of Oz” and its memorable song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”


Pediatric Oncology & Hematology Statistics

Since opening, the Barbara’s Friends Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Outpatient Center has treated over 8,000 sick children from throughout Southwest Florida. Over 50% of the children treated for cancer at the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida are uninsured, on Medicaid or have no form of payment; however no child is denied treatment regardless of their family’s ability to pay.

In 1960, the cure rate for childhood leukemia was 0; today the cure rate approaches 80%. While great strides have been made, the causes of childhood cancer are largely unknown. Cancer is still the leading cause of death by disease amoung U.S. children between infancy and age 15.


How Can You Help?

Your donation to Barbara’s Friends — Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund can help make a difference in the life of a child with cancer or a blood disorder. Please help us continue our mission to fund programs, services, equipment and the best in medical care for the children of our community so no child will have to leave home for treatment. 100% of funds donated to Barbara’s Friends goes to help children with cancer and blood disorders. To donate by phone, please call 239-214-0898.