Helping Kids with Cancer

Expanding Services to Help Collier County Families

Golisano's Naples's Clinic

Last year, the Golisano Children’s Health Center of Naples saw 317 pediatric cancer patients in its existing oncology clinic. With the current schedule of seeing patients only on Tuesday mornings, the clinic is only able to see 9 to 10 patients each week. To help care for children with cancer in Collier County, the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation issued a $200,000 challenge grant to build a pediatric hematology and oncology infusion clinic in Naples. The newly renovated space will allow up to 30 children a week to receive chemotherapy treatments in Naples and meet with their Golisano Children’s Hospital pediatric oncologist without needing to drive to Fort Myers or farther. 

While the match has been met by generous community partners, there is still a need to support the construction of this clinic. Every dollar will help provide a calming, safe and lifesaving space for children and their families.


Providing the Resources to Save Lives So Kids Can Be Kids


leading cause of death in children by disease


children helped by Barbara’s Friends to date


kids a day are diagnosed with cancer, the average age is just 6

Right now more than 80 kids are being treated for cancer at Golisano Children’s Hospital of SWFL. Another 300 children and young adults are continuing to be monitored as part of our after Pediatric Cancer Care Program (PACE). A cancer diagnosis can be devastating for the entire family unit – psychologically, financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually.

A cancer diagnosis means a protocol of treatment that can last up to three years or longer with weekly and even daily visits. Golisano Children’s Hospital is part of the Children’s Oncology Group which provides the same access to clinical trials and research shared by other centers of excellence around the world. Thanks to donors like you, Golisano Children’s Hospital provides family support services including a child psychologist at no cost for any family member to see.

Barbara’s Friends Hematology and Oncology Program sees an average of 400 outpatient visits a month and provides resources to ensure that young cancer patients living in Southwest Florida receive the specialized and personalized care they need close to home.

Our children don’t have to travel when they are undergoing treatment with frequent critical visits, infusions and long inpatient stays. 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.

Helping Families Pay for Treatment

In the last 60 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 is encouraging, cancer is still the 2nd leading cause of death after car accidents in children 1-14 years old.*

The Barbara’s Friends Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Outpatient Center at Golisano Children’s Hospital has treated more than 10,000 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.

Our Story

Stories of Hope

Listen to inspiring stories from Golisano Children’s Hospital patients as they share their experiences of battling life-threatening blood disorders and cancer.


Kadin was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had surgery the next day to remove his kidney and a tumor that was the size of a cantaloupe and weighed 2 pounds. He required intensive chemotherapy and radiation therapy for eight months.


Antwan, a rising star in college football, was slowed down by aplastic anemia, a life-threatening blood disorder where bone marrow doesn’t produce enough blood cells. It required him to move back home for treatment and a bone marrow transplant.


When Cali was diagnosed with a brain tumor, she endured nine rounds of chemotherapy, with one or two nights in the hospital each round. Today, Cali is remission. Her mom, Carrie, credits her progress to the team at Golisano’s Children Hospital.

Meet Our Survivors

Make a Lifesaving Donation
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.

Give $2,500 or more and become a 25th Anniversary Silver Patron. Silver Patrons will be invited to a special Barbara’s Friends Insider Experience in early 2021. More information about this insightful, inspiring event to come.

Dr. Emad Salman, Adyn Pickett, Credit GSL

Recent News and Updates

Our Vision for the Future

Our goal is to continue to assist children and their families on their cancer journeys, both in and out of the hospital. The includes:

  1. Expanding the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) program to offer more services needed to provide holistic treatment to this demographic
  2. Building the Infusion Clinic at the Golisano Children’s Healthcare Center of Naples for treatment of pediatric cancer patients in the Collier County community
  3. Launching the Barbara’s Friends scholarship fund to ensure that children fighting pediatric cancer have an opportunity to become the heroes of tomorrow”

Join Us at an Upcoming Event

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

Learn More
Clips for Cancer

Clips for Cancer

Held every September at Golisano Children’s Hospital

Learn More

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.


Contact Us

Have a question about supporting Barbara’s Friends or interested in a tour of Golisano Children’s Hospital? Contact Amy!

Email: Amy.Frith@leehealth.org | Call: 239-343-6106

Go to Top