In 2014, individuals from the Niles-Buchanan YMCA and Lakeland Health Foundations boards came together to present one vision - to host a fundraising event that would provide the means to help cancer patients locally. From the beginning many individuals shared personal heartfelt stories of loved ones diagnosed with cancer - from detection to recovery.
The proceeds from this luncheon support the LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program for cancer recovery and cancer support services from screenings and supplies to transportation and nutrition by the Marie Yeager Cancer Center of Lakeland funded through the Lakeland Health Foundation, Niles. Offering a continuum of care to thousands of patients and families recovering from cancer, those fighting cancer, and those at risk - regardless of ability to pay.
This collaboration continues.
We're very grateful to Rick Ledesma for sharing his experiences at Lakeland Health and with the LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program at our 2016 Hope Grows luncheon. Click here to see this powerful story.
We are equally grateful to Mrs. Paqui Kelly for volunteering as our keynote speaker at our 2017 Hope Grows event. As a two-time cancer survivor, her personal story was very inspiring.
Paqui and her husband, Notre Dame Head Football Coach Brian Kelly, felt called to give back their time, treasures, and talents after Paqui received a clean bill of health. In September 2007, they created the Brian Kelly Family Foundation which is now known as the Kelly Cares Foundation after their move to South Bend in 2010.
Paqui Kelly has become a symbol of hope and strength for her community and across the country. Through her work as co-founder of the Kelly Cares Foundation, the Kelly family has contributed over $3 million to more than 80 organizations nation-wide. Paqui has more recently been named Woman of the Year by the YWCA.