Helping Kids with Cancer in Southwest Florida

According the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, 43 kids a day are diagnosed with cancer. Always a devastating and unexpected diagnosis, it usually results in months or even years of treatment. Golisano Children’s Hospital ensures that young cancer patients living in Southwest Florida can receive the specialized care they need close to home. In fact, we have an 85 survival rate.

That means families can stay together, and children can be surrounded by their siblings, friends and family in the area. They can sleep in their own homes more often and return to their own schools as soon as they are well enough. All of this makes a lifesaving difference in their survival and recovery.

Barbaras Friends 25 Years
Kadin's Story Vimeo

Helping Families Pay for Treatment

Over the last 50 years, the survival rates for childhood cancer have risen from 10% to almost 80%.**

Survival rate through the Golisano Children’s Hospital Hematology and Oncology program is 84%.

While that’s encouraging, cancer is still a top 3 leading cause of death for children.*

The Barbara’s Friends Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Outpatient Center at Golisano Children’s Hospital has treated more than 8,000 children with cancer and blood disorders. These young patients and families face many challenges physically, emotionally and financially. More than half of the children treated for cancer at Golisano Children’s Hospital are uninsured, on Medicaid or have no form of payment. Through Barbara’s Friends and the more than $20 million given by supporters, families are able to focus on helping their kids and no child is denied treatment because of their family’s inability to pay for services.

How can you help?


Mel’s Diner “Helping Kids with Cancer” Radiothon

Mel’s Diner “Helping Kids with Cancer” Radiothon

Held every January in partnership with Mel’s Diner & Cat Country 107.1

Learn More
Rumrunners’ Celebrity Chef Night

Rumrunners’ Celebrity Chef Night

Held every August at Rumrunners restaurant at Cape Harbour and featuring popular SWFL chefs

Clips for Cancer

Clips for Cancer

Held every September at Golisano Children’s Hospital

of $300 or $25 per month – that is less than $1 a day!

By donating to Barbara’s Friends, your gift will assist with the needs of patients, clinical trials, counseling, equipment, facilities, staffing and family assistance.

  • $25 – Gas cards to get to and from treatment and doctor appointments for 2 weeks

  • $50 – Dinner for a family

  • $75 – End of Chemo Party

  • $100 – 1 month of home chemotherapy for patient with leukemia

  • $500 – Sponsor a family under the Kimmie’s Angels Family Assistance Program

  • $1,000 – Send a child to week-long camp

  • $15,000 – $30,000 – Annual cost of a new medication for Sickle Cell pain crisis prevention not covered by Medicaid.

Dr. Emad Salman, Adyn Pickett, Credit GSL
Barbara Haskell

Barbara Haskell

Barbara Haskell – who lost her life at the young age of 36 to breast cancer – is the inspiration and spirit behind her namesake, Barbara’s Friends. After a four-year battle with her illness, Barbara marveled at the bravery of children with cancer. She often wondered how they could cope with the treatments that were sometimes as difficult as the disease itself. After her passing, her parents Betty and Frank Haskell helped make her wish to help children come true by establishing Barbara’s Friends — Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund. The Barbara’s Friends rainbow logo comes from Barbara’s lifelong love of the classic film “The Wizard of Oz” and its memorable song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Kimmie’s Angels

Kimmie’s Angels Family Assistance Program provides financial support to families in need when parents are unable to work due to their child’s hospital visits and stays. Assistance ensures basic needs are met; needs like food, water, electricity, basic phone and home medications. Emergency assistance to maintain housing may be provided for unexpected events such as parental loss of income, travel, to another city for treatment, or other unexpected events.