The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation has made a $2 million donation to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina. The announcement was made by the Carolinas HealthCare System, which indicated the funds would be used for research and academic goals in cancer and other blood disorders while creating an endowed chair for the Gordon charity.
Carolinas HealthCare System CEO and President Gene Woods expressed gratitude for the gift and said the quality research and care at the hospital would bring the dream of a carefree life closer to reality for its young patients. He added that endowed chairs are vital for attracting and keeping brilliant staff, and that it was impossible to accomplish such a large task alone. The generosity of the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation and other donors makes it possible to keep science moving forward for the discovery of new treatment options.
Gordon, who is as well known for his racing career as his philanthropy, said that cancer is a leading cause of death in children, and the only way to combat that is through relentless research. He also said that nothing he dealt with on the racetrack is as challenging as cancer.
The Gordon charity named Javier Oesterheld, M.D., as the first endowed chair. Oesterheld is a director at the Torrence E. Hemby, Jr. Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplant Center at Levine Hospital. During his tenure, the center took on 140 new patients and accepted nearly 15,000 visits for outpatient therapy and treatment. This made the center one of the busiest in the southeastern part of the United States.
The center focuses on using unique drug combinations along with experimental therapies for children and teens who have no other medical options to treat their cancer.
Oesterheld expressed his gratitude to the Gordon charity by saying the gift would enhance the commitment to research and bring the center closer to completing its new research laboratory, which is slated to open in 2018. This would be followed by clinical trials related to cancer and other blood diseases.
Cancer care for children will continue to be a growing need in the years to come, and the support from the Gordon charity and other organizations will provide the foundation for high-level research and treatment, which will be available to patients regardless of location. Visit www.jeffgordonchildrensfoundation.org to learn more about the charity and how to help children fighting cancer.