Estefano Reano wished for just one thing at his 14th birthday party: a new heart.
The Weston resident was born with single ventricle heart defect, a condition where the heart doesn’t use all four chambers. In Estefano’s case, his situation worsened as he got older and, after five open heart surgeries, he was put on the list of those in need of a transplant. After waiting two years, and just hours after his birthday wish, the teenager became the 30th pediatric heart transplant performed at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
Christian Orejuela, also 14, received a heart transplant at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital less than four months ago. Prior to surgery, the Royal Palm Beach resident had been hospitalized for several months with worsening cardiomyopathy, but, to see the teen now, you’d never know he’d been sick at all.
It’s these stories of hope and triumph that have come to symbolize why more than 7,000 people are expected to participate in the ANF Group Tour de Broward, a fundraiser for Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation. Some see it as an opportunity to assist kids like Estefano and families overcome the health challenges that threaten lives. Others clearly appreciate having a world-class pediatric hospital in the region, one that treats every patient, regardless of their ability to pay.
Whatever the reason, Miramar Regional Park will be where they’ll all gather the morning of Sunday, February 25, 2018, to cycle, run, walk, or play. The dollars raised during the 9th annual event will go toward pediatric facilities, programs, and services at the children’s hospital, including a planned four-story expansion of the current facility.
“This is an opportunity for South Florida to assist our efforts to provide safe, high quality, cost-effective, patient and family-centered care,” said Memorial Healthcare System President & CEO Aurelio M. Fernandez, III, FACHE. “Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is positioned to be one of the finest facilities of its kind in the nation and, with our community’s support, we’ll achieve that goal.”
Sponsored by ANF Group, Tour de Broward consists of 50 and 100K bicycle rides, a 5K timed run, 3K walk, and the “Power of Play Kid Zone,” a sports-themed, fun area for children 13 or younger. The 100K ride starts at 7:00 a.m., run at 8:00 a.m., and walk at 9:00 a.m.
Pre-registration and day-of-event registration fees range from $15-$50, depending on the event and sign-up date. Participants can register in advance until Saturday, February 24 (12:00 p.m.), at http://www.tourdebroward.com or at the park the next day. For riders there is an additional fundraising commitment, however, some exceptions apply. Please refer to “Event Information” on the Tour de Broward website.
The 2017 Tour de Broward raised more than $500,000, positively impacting more than 80,000 kids who required outpatient visits, surgery, admissions and observation stays during the year. In its eight-year history, the event has raised more than $3 million to aid the growth of Hollywood-based hospital, the largest pediatric facility serving Broward, Palm Beach, and northern Miami-Dade counties.
To learn about sponsorship opportunities, call (954) 265-7241. For general information about the event, call (954) 905-5633.
Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is part of the Memorial Healthcare System, one of the largest public healthcare systems in the nation. It is one of the region’s leading pediatric hospitals, offering a comprehensive scope of healthcare services and programs in a child-friendly environment, supervised by the largest diversity of board-certified specialists. As an advocate for children’s healthcare and related causes, the 226-bed facility also offers community education, child safety programs, and the Conine Clubhouse, a home away from home where families of hospitalized children can stay for free.