SAS North Students Visit Joe Dimaggio Children's Hospital Cancer Ward
Miami, November 8, 2011 -
Dare to Care is an organization established by Alyssa Restauro and Sonomi Usui at the School for Advanced Studies (SAS). They started this group in an effort to expose their high school classmates at SAS North to the realities of cancer among children. Aside from helping raise funds for cancer awareness and prevention, members get the chance to touch the lives of cancer patients by interacting with them in the their hospital setting. The group has initiated bi-monthly visits to the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital (JDCH) cancer units.
The photo of the group's most recent visit to JDCH features the Dare to Care founders along with Frederick Franco, Brandon Aulet, Makeda Blackwood, Malika Blackwood, Daniela Vargas, Nelson Cruz and Amairani Aleman. Photos with the patients are not permitted but this photo of the SAS volunteers was taken outside of the children's rooms. Dare to Care members attend SAS, which is one of the most rigorous academic high schools in the country, but apart from their studies, they also want to give their time, positive energy and enthusiasm to children who are dealing with a very serious illness.
Mrs. Bella Cabrera, JDCH's Chief Nursing Officer, upon hearing about the group's desire to help, readily assisted Dare to Care to make plans for their visits. Last week, the members stayed for four hours connecting with kids aged 3-16 afflicted with some oncology and hematology disorders. They did some arts and crafts which were "Halloween oriented" and played some games with the group as well. Language and age differences did not matter. They were there to have fun, and fun they did have.
Parents of the sick children were very appreciative and encouraged the group to make these visits as often as they could. One parent remarked, "Your presence here is more than enough to brighten up their days". The SAS students, at the same time, "had the time of their lives". They enjoyed the visit so much they can't wait for their next one. While feeling blessed with health, they wanted to do more for their sick brothers and sisters. And so it goes, Dare to Care, is on the road - for there is much to be done.