This past December, childhood cancer patients at Rady Children’s Hospital received an inspirational opportunity to announce a victory milestone in their battles against cancer. The Emilio Nares Foundation (ENF), a non-profit organization that helps families navigate their child’s journey with cancer, dedicated the first, permanent childhood cancer Survivor Bell for the hospital’s oncology inpatient unit, where sick children endure cancer treatment for days, weeks, and sometimes months or years.
ENF helps families navigate their child’s journey with cancer and supports each child’s recovery. Often, recovery depends on a child’s two-year cancer treatment cycle, which, for a youngster, can seem like a lifetime. In many children’s hospitals around the country, a child earns the privilege and honor of ringing a Survivor Bell following the end of this treatment cycle.
Six-year old patient Eliana Feliciano-Tupou was the hospital’s first brave survivor to ring the new Survivor Bell during a dedication ceremony. The dedication was held at Rady Children’s Hospital outside the Acute Care Pavilion in the Children’s Seating Ring. Eventually, the new Survivor Bell will be permanently installed inside the Peckham Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital, where the Hematology-Oncology Unit is located.
“We are honored to present the first permanent Survivor Bell to the children and staff of Rady Children’s Hospital,” said Richard Nares, co-founder and executive director of the Emilio Nares Foundation. “In children’s hospitals across the country, the Survivor Bell and its poem of hope and affirmation is a celebration of life. Children fighting cancer are some of our community’s bravest soldiers. By ringing the Survivor Bell, they signal a milestone accomplishment in winning their battle.”
At the dedication ceremony, patient families, hospital representatives and ENF donor partners recognized on the Survivor Bell gathered to see the Survivor Bell unveiled.
“We are so excited to have our first Survivor Bell brought to us by the Emilio Nares Foundation,” said Carlos Delgado of Rady Children’s Hospital. “We look forward to seeing that bell rung over and over again by the children that complete their treatment. It will be very inspiring to the hundreds of families we service every year.”
The Emilio Nares Foundation and Rady Children’s Hospital have had a close partnership in the service of families for more than 10 years. Annually, ENF provides 4,100 free rides for low-income children and their parents to and from cancer treatment through the nationally recognized Ride With Emilio program, which is based at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. ENF also provides nutrition, financial aid, respite activities and connection to other community agencies.
To find out more about the Emilio Nares Foundation, visit www.enfhope.org.