Burnie Grill gives UF Health Proton Therapy Institute kids hope and happiness this Halloween

October 1, 2015

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (October 30, 2015) — Wednesday, Burnie Grill and its founder and CEO Carl Spadaro participated in an afternoon of Halloween fun with the University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute, celebrating his donation of five thousand dollars to the pediatric proton fund. Burnie Grill mascot “Burnie” joined children at a luncheon for patients and handed out dolls of the company’s Nordic Viking mascot to trick-or-treaters.  

“Children deserve the chance to enjoy life and experience holiday activities even though they have been diagnosed with cancer,” said UF Health Proton Therapy Institute executive director Stuart Klein. “We thank Burnie Grill and Carl Spadaro for this generous contribution to the programs that will help us achieve our mission of making children as comfortable, free of fear and joyful as possible during their treatment.”

Pediatric Proton Therapy Program

The University of Florida is a world leader in pediatric proton therapy. Since UF Health Proton Therapy Institute opened, the care of children and adolescent patients has been among its highest priorities. The Institute has developed a group of international leaders in pediatric radiotherapy, pediatric nursing, and pediatric psychosocial support. To date, more than 1,000 children and adolescent patients have traveled from 34 states, 17 countries, and five continents seeking the specialized expertise of the UF Health pediatric proton therapy team.

UF Health Proton Therapy Institute for the Children Fund

At the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute, a successful treatment experience for its youngest patients begins with a warm and welcoming environment. The mission of the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute for the Children Fund is to remove fear from the treatment process.  To achieve this mission, the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute for the Children Fund provides support for a child life specialist, Family Fun Night and communal activities, a driver and van transport, and an artist-in-residence. These resources are most helpful tools in making treatment easier for children. When spending time with members of the pediatric team, they forget about the illnesses and get to be kids. 

About Proton Therapy

Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that uses protons rather than traditional X-rays. It targets tumors and cancer cells more precisely. This means less damage to surrounding tissue which results in a lower risk of side effects and a better quality of life during and after cancer treatment.

UF Health Proton Therapy Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization affiliated with the UF College of Medicine and the UF Health Cancer Center, a Florida Cancer Center of Excellence, dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art cancer treatment and setting new standards for treating and curing cancer. It is an accredited radiation oncology facility by the American College of Radiology. The cancer treatment facility houses both conventional radiation and proton therapy, and delivers proton therapy to 100 patients a day. For more information about the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute, please visit www.floridaproton.org, or call toll-free 877-686-6009.

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