Alumni patient Leon Warshaw, a prostate cancer survivor, recently presented UF Health Proton Therapy Institute’s For the Children Fund with a $1,000 gift to benefit pediatric cancer patients.
“The pediatric program is nothing short of a miracle for the young children being treated,” said Leon. “The pleasant and comforting personalities of the nurses, technicians and doctors are heartwarming and supportive.”
Leon’s generous gift was made possible by his service with the Sarasota Civilian Volunteer Police. Leon and his Civilian Volunteer Police partner, Demetri Lignos, received the Noah Williams Humanitarian Award for their lifesaving efforts after they discovered a homeless man who was sick and unable to move, lying in the sun alone and unattended for a week following a heart attack. In addition to the award, the Williams family presented Leon with a $1,000 check to be donated to the cause of his choice. He knew immediately that he wanted to use the opportunity to give back to UF Health Proton Therapy Institute.
“The staff at the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute deserves the highest recognition for their professional and effective methods of protecting, treating and supporting young patients,” said Leon. “I hope that my small gift will help give the children joy and support their morale during their treatment period.”
The Institute’s For the Children Fund was created with the mission to provide children with the opportunity to enjoy life, despite their cancer diagnosis. Charitable gifts like Leon’s fund activities, like Family Fun Night, and support two artists-in-residence who guide patients as they create weekly art projects. They also help provide a Child Life Specialist, who uses medical play, preparation and education to promote understanding and help reduce anxiety in pediatric cancer patients.
For Leon, the impact these services had on pediatric patients and their families was undeniable.
“So much thought and care is given to the method of treatments to alleviate fear, pain and discomfort,” said Leon. “I was brought to tears as I observed these young people playing and enjoying their activities while undergoing major treatments. The children showed great strength and enjoyment in all of the attention and care they received.”