Hope for Pediatric Patients

Hyundai Hope on Wheels awards $250,000 grant to UF Health cancer researcher.

For the third consecutive year, a University of Florida researcher has received a Hyundai Hope on Wheels grant to support childhood cancer research. Elias Sayour, M.D., an assistant professor of neurosurgery and pediatric hematology/oncology, is the 2014 recipient. His research focuses on harnessing the immune system through the use of nanotechnology. Nanoparticle vaccines are small enough to deliver molecules to the immune system, which can then be stimulated to induce antitumor activity against pediatric brain tumors. Sayour and his team will investigate where these particles travel and the kinds of immune responses they generate.

The Hyundai Hope on Wheels nonprofit organization and local Hyundai dealers presented the $250,000 award at a ceremony, during which young patients placed their handprints on a vehicle to commemorate their battles against cancer.


Meet CMN Ambassador Child Grayson Irwin

Grayson Irwin was a happy, content baby who loved to laugh and rarely cried. It wasn’t until he turned 11 months that he started exhibiting viral symptoms similar to those of chicken pox. But after four doctor visits in three weeks – and progressively worsening symptoms – it was clear to his parents, Brady and Janelle, that something much more severe was the cause.

“As a mother, all I could tell the doctors was ‘something isn’t right,’” Janelle recalled. “His pediatrician sent for immediate bloodwork, and while they never mentioned the word ‘leukemia,’ it was the only word that kept repeating in my head.”

Just hours after his blood tests, the Irwins were called into their pediatrician’s office to learn that Grayson’s body appeared to be showing signs of leukemia, and UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville was expecting their arrival...


Save a Life, Ride a Horse

It’s that time of year! Greater Orlando Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is hoping to round up as many partners in the Central Florida community as possible for our 22nd annual Miracle Trail Ride on Saturday, Oct. 18.

This unique marathon fundraiser is completed on horseback while participants enjoy a 10-mile ride through nature’s finest scenery and trails at the beautiful Lower Wekiva Preserve State Park. Check in will begin at 8 a.m., and the ride will begin at 9 a.m. All participants must bring their own horses. No carriages are allowed, and a current Coggins certificate is required to ride.

Registration is now open to sign up, yourself or a team, and start your fundraising campaign today, supporting our local Greater Orlando CMN Hospitals. The first donation comes from you – a $60 registration fee that also gets you breakfast, lunch and an event t-shirt!


Be a Hero for Kids

Help Children’s Miracle Network at UF Health Shands Hospital and join the efforts of thousands of gamers who have band together to save the lives of local kids in a celebration of gaming culture called Extra Life. From console games to board games to even lawn sports, Extra Life gives people who love to play a chance to save lives and make a difference.

All you have to do is play — whenever, wherever and for however long you would like. To participate, just sign up for free and gather the support of your friends and family through tax-deductible donations to Children’s Miracle Network at UF Health Shands Hospital. Then on Saturday, Oct. 25 – or any day that works for you – start playing!

Since 2008, the incredible Extra Life players have raised more than $8 million, and this year, we believe they will outdo themselves yet again.

With your help we can set a new record and save so many more kids!


Belt Buckle Ball

Join Tallahassee and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals on Friday, Nov. 7 at the fifth annual Belt Buckle Ball for a fun evening of food, entertainment, mechanical bull riding, funny-money poker and a "Best Buckle" contest!  Proceeds help make miracles happen at UF Health Shands Children's Hospital, Tallahassee's Children's Miracle Network hospital, for children in need of specialized pediatric care.

VIP sponsors are invited to attend a pre-event Shands Ambassador Family Meet and Greet from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with Tallahassee area children and their families who have benefitted from medical care at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, thanks to generous support from events such as the Belt Buckle Ball.

Event festivities will kick off at 6:30 p.m. beginning with cocktails and dinner. The Houston Deese Band will entertain throughout the evening.


 Making Hospitals Less Scary for Children

This fall, while you shop for the perfect Halloween costume, you can also help improve the experiences of children being treated at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. Spirit Halloween is holding its annual Spirit of Children fundraising campaign, benefiting the Child Life program at UF Health.

To receive 10% off of your entire purchase and have 10% of proceeds donated to UF Health Child Life:

Visit Spirit Halloween in Ocala at  Ocala West, 2400 SW College Road and use the printed coupon


Use coupon code, CARING, online at www.spirithalloween.com/


The promotion extends from 9/01/14 to 10/31/14.  Please contact Jessica Jennings in the UF Health Office of Development at 265-7237 with any questions.