There was a time in South Florida where if a child had a serious medical issue and his or her parents had the means, they would often look beyond Florida for diagnosis and treatment. Few facilities within the state focused exclusively on pediatric medicine (children were mostly treated as if they were “little adults”) and even fewer had the expertise and resources to treat the most complex cases.
That’s no longer the situation. In 1992, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital (JDCH) was established within Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood and, in 2011, it became a free-standing pediatric facility. This year, a $160 million expansion project will begin that will add four stories to the current building and double the size of the current children’s hospital, where the most difficult cases are now routinely treated.
An undertaking that ambitious wouldn’t be possible without philanthropy from the community JDCH serves and the fundraising component within an event like Tour de Broward. Last year’s cycling/running/walking/playing gathering attracted more than 7,000 participants and raised in excess of $800,000 to support programs, services, and facilities at ‘Joe D.,’ with Memorial Healthcare System organizers hoping for similar impact again this year. It all takes place Sunday, February 23, at Miramar Regional Park.
Sponsored by ANF Group and presented by the Makarov Foundation, the event consists of 50 and 100K bicycle rides, a 5K timed run, 3K walk, and the “Power of Play Kid Zone,” a sports-themed, fun area for children 13 or younger. The 100K ride starts at 7:00 a.m., run at 8:00 am and walk at 9:00 a.m., with online registration now available at www.tourdebroward.com.