Miami Dolphins’ wide receiver Brandon Gibson and offensive tackle Jason Fox visited Alex’s Place At Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center to bring joy to patients and their families amid their battle with the disease. Gibson and Fox were in attendance in honor of the Dolphins Cycling Challenge (DCC), which is dedicated to funding cancer research in South Florida.
The construction of Alex’s Place birthed a new standard for treating children with cancer. The staff specializes in providing comfort and alleviating apprehension commonly associated with therapeutic visits. The unique approach to treating children with cancer, as well as the state-of-the-art pediatric oncology clinic was initially conceived by philanthropist Alexander Daly, and Julio Barredo, M.D.
The facility is comprised of entertainment centers for the children to watch movies, and an assortment of toys suitable for kids of all ages. The hospitality of the staff coupled with the amenities the structure provides serves as a conduit to not only treat the cancer, but to care for the patient and the families involved.
As Gibson and Fox made their rounds to intermingle with the children and their families, chief executive officer of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Richard Ballard spoke about the importance of having the Miami Dolphins help them raise funds for cancer related research.
“In our fifth year in our partnership with the Miami Dolphins, the goal is to raise five million dollars. We have a great partnership between the Sylvester Cancer Center and the Miami Dolphins. We want to create awareness around cancer, and cancer related research. …It’s great for the kids to have the players come. It really speaks to a wonderful partnership that we have with the Dolphins. …They really focus on giving back to the community and are heavily involved in cancer research in particular.”
After signing several autographs, posing for countless photo ops with families and participating in drawing activities with the patients, Gibson took the time to weigh in on the importance of the Dolphins supporting cancer research.
“It’s our duty to make sure that we give back and people are aware that football isn’t the only thing that we do. We want to make sure that we’re there for the community.”
Gibson lost a loved one to cancer as a child, which has heightened his sensitivity to the disease.
“My god brother died of cancer when I was a kid. It’s always something that’s in the back of my mind. There’s no cure for it, but if you catch it early, you have a good chance of beating it.”
Fox, a former Miami Hurricane spoke about his platform as a football player and what it means to him to give back to the community.
“That’s what’s so cool about football, people look up to you, especially kids. …When they see their team, or a player for their team come in, that’s always one of the fun side parts of the job. …Anything you can do to lift someone’s spirits always makes you feel good.”
The Dolphins Cycling Challenge (DCC) is a two-day bike event throughout South Florida to raise funds for cancer research. 100% of the proceeds go directly to the Sylvester Center, and 30% of the money goes toward their pediatric research. DCC-V will be held February 7-8, 2015.
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