Barbara's Friends
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Not long ago, the closest treatment center for children with cancer in Southwest Florida was in Tampa or Miami. With this community's support, Barbara’s Friends has bridged that gap. We are dedicated to providing resources to fulfill the treatment and educational needs of our pediatric oncology and hematology patient population and their families at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Our goal is to keep families together and provide treatment locally to maintain some normalcy in the lives of our patients and allow parents to stay physically and emotionally close to their sick child.

Barbara's Friends

Barbara Haskell - who lost her life at the young age of 32 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 Family Assistance Fund

In early 2017, Barbara’s Friends Founder Frank Haskell announced the creation of the Kimmie’s Angels Family Assistance Fund, named in memory of Kimmie Kinkle. Kimmie passed away in December 2016 at age 35 and is the daughter of Al Kinkle, Barbara’s Friends chair, and his wife, Debbie. The fund recognizes and honors Al & Debbie’s 14-year commitment to helping kids with cancer through their active involvement with Barbara’s Friends.

Young patients and families battling cancer face many challenges physically, emotionally and financially. Kimmie’s Angels will support, sustain and enhance the Barbara’s Friends mission to help families with financial assistance while in treatment at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Pediatric Oncology & Hematology Statistics

Since opening, the Barbara’s Friends Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Outpatient Center has treated over 8,000 sick children throughout Southwest Florida. Over 50% of the children treated for cancer at Golisano Children’s Hospital are uninsured, on Medicaid or have no form of payment; however no child is denied treatment regardless of their family’s ability to pay.

In 1960, the cure rate for childhood leukemia was 0; today the cure rate approaches 80%. While great strides have been made, the causes of childhood cancer are largely unknown and cancer is still the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children between infancy and age 15.

Barbara's Friends

How Can You Help?

Your donation to Barbara’s Friends — Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund can help make a difference in the life of a child with cancer or a blood disorder. Please help us continue our mission to fund programs, services, equipment and the best in medical care for the children of our community so no child will have to leave home for treatment. 100% of funds donated to Barbara’s Friends goes to help children with cancer and blood disorders. To donate by phone or for more information, please call 239-214-0898 or email Susan.Robbins@LeeHealth.org.

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