Celebration of Champions® 2017

General Info

Imagine learning that your child has cancer - 200 San Diego families did last year! The news is shocking, but then you begin the endless doctor appointments, treatments, and surgeries as well as dealing with the emotional and financial aftershocks. Last year alone, Rady Children's provided more than 14,000 cancer related visits to the Peckham Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders. Every one of us has been touched by cancer in some way.

The Celebration of Champions® event began 21 years ago to not only provide a special day away from the Hospital and all of its protocol, but also to raise money for critical support programs that help parents, patients and siblings cope with cancer... with 100% of every dollar donated going directly to fund Rady Children's cancer-related programs or to produce the Celebration day. Since 1996, our Celebration has raised more than $8 million.

Each year about 400 cancer patients (our champions) attend the Celebration of Champions® with their families and friends. Typically, the event begins by releasing white balloons for Rady Children's champions who lost their lives in their fight against cancer. Afterwards, champions who are currently undergoing treatment run the relay course while carrying the "Torch of Life" demonstrating determination to win their cancer battle. After current patients run, our cancer survivors take a victory lap in celebration of being cancer-free for five years or more (some children are now 25 years old giving everyone hope.) At the conclusion of the event, all 2,000 participants join hands for a moving closing ceremony...Watch Our Videos... Celebration of Champions 2007 - Rylalove... Celebration of Champions 2008 - Pass It On. The day ends with lunch, entertainment, and a free carnival for the children.

Your participation, whether $25 or $100,000, will enable all children to receive critical cancer care and therapeutic treatment. Proceeds from the Celebration of Champions® fund the Hospital’s psychosocial cancer program which includes:

  • Child Life Specialists to counsel and prepare young patients for surgery, procedures and medical tests
  • Clinical Social Workers to support children and families with initial diagnosis and ongoing medical treatment
  • Hematology/Oncology Parent Liaisons, each of whom has had a child treated for cancer, to provide their own personal experiences and coping strategies as children move through their treatment plan
  • Champlains to offer spiritual care, as requested
  • Interdisciplinary Supportive Care Team Members to provide pediatric palliative care for high-risk and relapsed pediatric cancer patients

You can read more about these services at www.rchsd.org/programs-services/cancer-blood-disorders.

On behalf of the 200 members of the La Playa Unit of Rady Children's Hospital Auxiliary who organize this event, thank you in advance for your contribution which will bring hope and comfort to those in great need. Your support makes it all possible!!!

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